Action Control Orientation: Moderating Effects on Outcomes in Children with Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder

Open Access
Mattei, Gina Marie
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Cynthia L Huang Pollock, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kenneth Levy, Honors Advisor
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Action Control Orientation
Objective: ADHD is often associated with deficits in executive functioning, academic achievement, and social-emotional well-being. Action Control Orientation refers to one’s level of goal direction and persistence along a continuum of action to state orientation. Having an action orientation indicates persistence when faced with tough decisions or failure experiences, while state orientation indicates hesitation or rumination. The current project explores whether Action Control Orientation might moderate a range of outcomes in children with and without ADHD. Methods: 102 children with ADHD and 107 non-ADHD controls completed the Action Control Questionnaire (ACQ) and a comprehensive neurological battery. One parent and one teacher of each child completed questionnaires about the child. Parents also completed a clinical interview and a version of the ACQ about their child. Results: Moderating relationships were only found in terms of Parent Report AOF with depression and Child Report AOF with aggression. Results indicate that Action Control Orientation predicts the outcome experiences of children above and beyond that of ADHD status in areas of social skills and anxiety, depression, and aggression symptoms. Conclusion: These findings suggest that Action Control Orientation may be a useful tool designing treatments for children with ADHD; teaching children action-oriented skills could improve their experiences and outcomes.