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ORCID

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Program

Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2019

Month Degree Awarded

September

Abstract

How individuals process different affective cues, as well as how intensely they experience different emotions, may influence how efficient they are at engaging inhibitory control. To date, it is unclear if these influences differ among young adults with and without ADHD. The current study tested the variation in young adults’ inhibitory control to three affective cues (i.e., fear, happy, and neutral) in an Emotion Go/Nogo task. Results suggest better inhibitory control in response to more distinct cues (i.e., fear Nogo/happy Go). The order in which cues were presented also mattered, such that participants displayed enhanced inhibitory control when first presented with expressions that had similar valence. This task order was particularly helpful for inhibitory control engagement among young adults with ADHD. Furthermore, self-report measures suggest that young adults with ADHD were associated with higher levels of affect intensity. However, no additional relations were found in the processing of affective cues, affect intensity, and inhibitory control between young adults with and without ADHD. Results provide evidence for how affective cues and contexts differentially influence behavioral responses in young adults. Individuals with and without ADHD also appear to differ in the intensity with which they experience different emotions. Overall, the current study provides a framework for how to further explore how emotional cues and affect intensity influence inhibitory control.

First Advisor

Jennifer M. McDermott, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kirby Deater-Deckard, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Harvey, Ph.D.

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