Executive Dysfunction and Delay Aversion in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Nosologic and Diagnostic Implications

Edmund J S Sonuga-Barke, Joseph A. Sergeant, Joel Nigg, Erik Willcutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

195 Scopus citations


In this article the authors reflect on the role of executive function (EF) deficits and delay aversion (DAv) in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The authors, empirical review shows clearly that EF deficits and DAv are implicated in ADHD, although neither is necessary for ADHD nor specific to it. The constructs are somewhat dissociable from one another so that each may represent a distinctive feature associated with an ADHD subsample. The authors argue that neither EF deficits nor DAv add much value to the diagnosis of ADHD as it is currently conceptualized, but may be crucial in helping to partition heterogeneity in the condition, leading to the refinement of ADHD nosology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-384
Number of pages18
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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