Response style differences in the inattentive and combined subtypes of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Karen J. Derefinko, Zachary W. Adams, Richard Milich, Mark T. Fillmore, Elizabeth P. Lorch, Donald R. Lynam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


This study examined potential differences between the inattentive and combined ADHD subtypes using laboratory tasks assessing behavioral inhibitory processes. Seventy-five children completed two tasks of behavioral inhibition believed to isolate different processes: the cued reaction time task (CRT), a basic inhibition task, and the go/no-go task (GNG), a complex inhibition task that incorporates motivational contingencies. Three groups of participants were identified, including ADHD/Inattentive (n = 17), ADHD/Combined (n = 37), and comparison (n = 21). Results indicated that rather than showing behavioral inhibition deficits, the ADHD/I children appeared overly inhibited, as evidenced by slower reaction times across the two tasks and significantly higher errors of omission in the GNG task. Additionally, the ADHD/I children did not demonstrate cue dependency effects on the CRT task, suggesting that they were failing to incorporate relevant information before making a response. The sluggish and inhibited performance of the ADHD/I group challenges the idea that it is a subtype of ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-758
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse grants DA021027 and DA005312.


  • ADHD
  • Disinhibition
  • Sluggish cognitive tempo
  • Subtypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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