ADHD, Self-Regulation, and Executive Functioning: Theory and Implications for Management Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC Copyright by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., 2012 Sources: Barkley, R. A. (in press). Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved. New York: Guilford Press. Barkley, R. A. (2011). The Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale. New York: Guilford. Barkley, R. A. (1997/2001) ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control. New York: Guilford Press Email: [email protected] Website: russellbarkley.org
Dr. Barkleys Disclosure Retirement Pension: State of Massachusetts (UMASS Medical School) Speaking Fees Received From (for past 12 months): University of Alabama, Student Disabilities Service, ADHD Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL Annual Conference on Learning Disabilities, University of Maryland, Shady Grove, MD Canadian Attention Deficit Disorders Resource Alliance (Toronto) J&K Seminars, Lancaster, PA Windsor-Essex County LD Association (Windsor, Canada) Alberta Learning Disabilities Association (Edmonton, Canada) Educational Fundacion Activa, Madrid, Spain TDAH Association, Barcelona, Spain Premier Educational Seminars, Inc. (PESI) ADHD Network, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Cincinnati Childrens Hospital, Ohio & Springer School of Cincinnati, OH LDA Life and Learning Services, Rochester, NY Assoc. for Training & Personal Development, Bucharest, Romania Royalties:
Guilford Publications (books, videos, newsletter) Jones & Bartlett Publishers (books & products) J & K Seminars (videotapes), New England Educational Institute (audiotapes), PESI (CDs) ContinuingEdCourses.net (internet CE courses), PsychContinuingEd.com Speaker for: Eli Lilly, Shire (The Netherlands) Consultant for: Eli Lilly, Theravance Does ADHD = EFDD???? (Executive Function Deficit Disorder) The Neuro-Anatomy and Neuropsychology of ADHD Virtually Guarantee It! The Prefontal Cortical Networks Involved in EF Are Also the Networks Implicated in Self-Regulation and in ADHD
The frontal-striatal circuit: Associated with deficits in response suppression, freedom from distraction, working memory, organization, and planning, known as the cool or what EF network The frontal-cerebellar circuit: Associated with motor coordination deficits, and problems with the timing and timeliness of behavior, known as the when EF network The frontal-limbic circuit: Associated with symptoms of emotional dyscontrol, motivation deficits, hyperactivityimpulsivity, and proneness to aggression, known as the hot or why EF network Nigg, J. T., & Casey, B. (2005). An integrative theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder based on the cognitive and affective neurosciences. Development and Psychology, 17, 785-806. Castellanos, X., Sonuga-Barke, E., Milham, M., & Tannock, R. (2006). Characterizing cognition in ADHD: Beyond executive dysfunction. Trends in Cognitive Science, 10, 117-123. Sagvolden, T., Johansen, E. B., Aase, H., & Russell, V. A. (2005). A dynamic developmental theory of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) predominantly hyperactive-impulsive and combined subtypes. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 397-408.
Executive Brain Networks How Does ADHD Fit Into EF? EF Comprises a Single Domain that Can Be Usefully Subdivided into two Broad Dimensions Inhibition: Meta-Cognition: Motor, Verbal, Cognitive & Emotional Nonverbal WM
Verbal WM Planning/Problem-solving Emotional self-regulation HyperactivityImpulsivity Where does ADHD fit into them? Inattention Executive Functioning: Nature and Problems From R. A. Barkley (2012). The Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved. New York: Guilford Press
Problems with the EF Construct Lacks any consensus definition Considered to be a meta-construct serving as an umbrella term for a set of more specific components Assessment of EF nearly always employs cold cognitive psychometric tests. But tests of EF are problematic for various reasons Are unreliable and often poorly normed Lack ecological validity do not correlate with EF rating scales or observations Do not predict impairment in major domains of life in which EF is important for effective functioning; EF ratings do predict impairment There is no accepted theory of EF nor is EF placed within its
evolutionary context why have EF? Current Paradox ADHD is a disorder of brain networks that contribute to EF so it has to be an EF disorder But only 35-50% or fewer ADHD cases are impaired on EF psychometric tests (>93rd %) Yet 86-98% of clinical-referred adults with ADHD are impaired on rating scales of EF in daily life as are 65-75% of ADHD children by adulthood with persistent ADHD. EF tests have low or no significant relationships with EF ratings in daily life 0-10% of shared variance between tests & ratings less than 20% for best combination of EF tests EF tests and EF ratings are NOT measuring the same construct
Study of clinic-referred adults with ADHD (Barkley & Murphy, 2010) 120 100 80 60 40 20 ADHD Clinical Community 0 From Barkley, R. A., & Murphy, K. R. (2010). Impairment in occupational functioning and adult ADHD:
The predictive utility of executive function (EF) ratings vs. EF tests. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 25, 157-173. Group differences on EF scales Percent of Group Impaired > 93rd % Comparison of groups on percentage impaired 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
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ADHD-P = Persistent ADHD, All p values < .001 ADHD-NP = Nonpersistent ADHD Control = Community Control Group Barkley, R. A., & Fischer, M. (2011). Predicting impairment in occupational functioning in hyperactive children as adults: Self-reported executive function (EF) deficits vs. EF tests. Developmental Neuropsychology, 36(2), 137-161.. Which Method of Assessing EF is the Most Valid? EF scales predict up to 45% of variance in global selfrated impairment and 20% in other-rated impairment EF tests predict up to 6% in global self-rated impairment and 7% in other-ratings Overall, scales predict 2-20% of variance in work history measures averaging 11% Overall, tests predict 2-18% of variance in work history measures averaging 6.8% EF ratings predict a wider array of occupational
problems than do EF tests If predicting impairment is an index of validity of measurement, EF scales out-predict EF tests Whats Wrong with EF Tests? Cannot capture EF as it functions to enact and sustain goal-directed behavior across long spans of time Most tests last just 15-30 minutes each Do not capture the important social factors that EF evolved to address Reciprocity, cooperation, mutual support Do not evaluate emotional self-regulation Fail to capture the link between EF and culture (both its creation and adoption)
How to Resolve the Problems? Make self-regulation the core of EF A self-directed action Intended to alter subsequent behavior So as to change the probability of a future event or consequence Understand that humans use at least 7 different self-directed actions for self-regulation to achieve delayed goals Each type of self-directed action can be considered an executive function (or specific component) They develop in a step-wise sequence These exist to address the problems and opportunities involved in social (group) living View EF as a hierarchy of levels (in biology - an extended phenotype) similar to Michons model of driving
Building a Theory of EF and ADHD: Linking Inhibition, Self-Control, and the Executive Functions What is Self-Regulation? Self-regulation can be defined as: 1. Any action a person directs toward ones self (a behavior-to-the-self) 2. So as to change their own subsequent behavior from what they otherwise would have done 3. In order to change the likelihood of a future consequence You cannot direct an action at yourself without inhibiting your responses to the ongoing environment they are mutually exclusive What is EF?
An executive function can be defined as a major type of action-to-the-self (a type of self-regulation) There are 6-7 major types of EFs: Self-Awareness (meta-cognition) Inhibition and interference Control Nonverbal and verbal working memory Emotional - motivational self-regulation Planning and problem-solving All can be redefined as actions-to-the-self
Each likely develops by behavior being turned on the self and then internalized (privatized, inhibited) They likely develop in a step-wise hierarchy - Each needs the earlier ones to function well The EFs Create Four Developmental Transitions in What is Controlling Behavior External Mental (private or internal) Others Self Temporal now Anticipated future Immediate
Delayed gratification (Decreased Temporal Discounting of Delayed Consequences) Building an Extended Phenotype of Executive Functioning Michons Model of Driving Level IV: Strategic Abilities i.e., Purpose or goals for using the car, best routes through traffic to attain the goals, time likely needed to attain each goal, knowledge needed to enact the plan effectively (weather, traffic, construction, known accidents, etc.) Level III: Tactical Abilities i.e., abilities required to operate the vehicle on roadways in the presence of and interactions/conflicts with other drivers and their
vehicles, such as driving laws, knowledge of safe driving tactics, etc. Level II: Operational Abilities i.e., familiarity with and sound management of the vehicle and its components such as steering, braking, acceleration, signaling, mirrors, seat belts, other safety equipment [ex. Driving a car in an empty parking lot] Level I: Basic Cognitive Abilities Required to Drive i.e., normal reaction time; visual field perception; motor speed, agility, coordination, and range of motion; visuo-spatial reasoning; hearing; language and reading abilities, etc. Anterior-posterior (rostral-caudal) hierarchy of cognitive control of behavior Reliance on Cultural Methods and Products Social Complexity: Interactions & Networks Increasingly Abstract, Longer-Term Goals Increased Valuing of Delayed Outcomes
Extended Time Horizon Extended Space Horizon Increased Behavioral Complexity/Hierarchies Neurological Maturation Figure 1. Badre, D. (2008). Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(5), 193-200. Executive Functioning - Defined EF is the use of self-directed actions (selfregulation) to choose goals, and to select, enact, and sustain actions across time toward those goals, usually in the context of others and often relying on social and cultural means. This is done for the maximization of ones longer-term welfare as the person defines that to be. (Barkley, in press)
Barkleys Model of EF Level IV: Strategic Cooperative Abilities i.e., Underlies human coordinated group activities in which goals can be attained that are not possible for any individual. Underlies cooperative ventures, division of labor, formation of communities and governments Level III: Tactical Reciprocal Abilities i.e., Underlies human social exchange, turn taking, reciprocity, promise keeping. Basis of economic behavior (trading); Underlies ethics, social skills and etiquette; Basis for legal contracts Level II: Methodical Self-Reliant Abilities Essential for daily adaptive functioning, self-care, and social self-defense i.e., Self-Organization and Problem-Solving, Self-Management to Time, SelfRestraint, Self-Motivation, Self-Regulation of Emotions Level I: Instrumental Self-Directed Abilities i.e., self-awareness, executive inhibition and interference control, nonverbal and verbal working memory, planning, problem-solving,
self-motivation, emotion regulation 6 Level Hierarchy of EF Extended Utilitarian Strategic - Cooperative Tactical - Reciprocal Methodical Self-Reliant Instrumental Self-Directed Pre-Executive (non-EF) The Extended Phenotype Model of Executive Functioning ccc Extended Utilitarian Strategic -- Cooperative Tactical -- Reciprocal
Methodical Self-Reliant Instrumental Self-Directed Pre-Executive Understanding EF Disorders PFC Disorders disrupt the 5 levels of EF/SR but especially the tactical and higher levels thereby creating a disorder of self-regulation across time They create Time Blindness or a Temporal Neglect Syndrome (Myopia to the Future) They cause a contraction of the EF hierarchy the extent of which is based on severity of interference with or injury to the PFC They cause a reduction in the 8 developmental capacities (time, space, motivation, behavioral, abstract, social, cultural, etc.) They adversely affect the capacity to hierarchically
organize nested sets of goal directed behavior across time to anticipate the future and to pursue ones long-term goals and self-interests (welfare and happiness) 6 Level Hierarchy of EF PFC Disorders Extended Utilitarian Strategic - Cooperative Severe PFC Injury Tactical - Reciprocal Methodical Self-Reliant
Instrumental Self-Directed Pre-Executive (non-EF) Anterior-posterior (rostral-caudal) hierarchy of cognitive control of behavior Reliance on Cultural Methods and Products Social Complexity: Interactions & Networks A D of Delayed Outcomes Increased Valuing H Extended Time Horizon D Extended Space Horizon
Increasingly Abstract, Longer-Term Goals Increased Behavioral Complexity/Hierarchies Neurological Maturation Figure 1. Badre, D. (2008). Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(5), 193-200. The Brain as a Knowledge vs. Performance Device ADHD Performance Knowledge Understanding ADHD ADHD disrupts the 5 levels of EF/SR but
especially the tactical and higher levels thereby creating a disorder of self-regulation across time ADHD can be considered as Time Blindness or a Temporal Neglect Syndrome (Myopia to the Future) It adversely affects the capacity to hierarchically organize behavior across time to anticipate the future and to pursue ones long-term goals and self-interests (welfare and happiness) Its not an Attention Deficit but an Intention Deficit (Inattention to mental events & the future) Understanding ADHD Its a Disorder of:
Performance, not skill Doing what you know, not knowing what to do The when and where, not the how or what Using your past at the point of performance The point of performance is the place and time in your natural settings where you should use what you know (but may not) Implications for Treatment Teaching skills is inadequate The key is to design prosthetic environments around the individual to compensate for their EF deficits Therefore, effective treatments are always those at the point-of-performance
The EF deficits are neuro-genetic in origin Therefore, medications may be essential for most (but not all) cases meds are neuro-genetic therapies But some evidence suggests some EFs may also be partly responsive to direct training While ADHD creates a diminished capacity: Does this excuse accountability? (No! The problem is with time and timing, not with consequences) More Treatment Implications Behavioral treatment is essential for restructuring natural settings to assist the EFs They provide artificial prosthetic cues to substitute for the working memory deficits (signs, lists, cards, charts, posters) They provide artificial prosthetic consequences in the large time gaps between consequences (accountability)
(i.e., tokens, points, etc.) But their effects do not generalize or endure after removal because they primarily address the motivational deficits in ADHD The compassion and willingness of others to make accommodations are vital to success A chronic disability perspective is most useful How can we compensate for EF deficits? By reverse engineering the EF system Externalize important information at key points of performance Externalize time and time periods related to tasks and important deadlines Break up lengthy tasks or ones spanning long periods of time into many small steps
Externalize sources of motivation Externalize mental problem-solving Replenish the SR Resource Pool (Willpower) Practice incorporating the 5 strategies for emotional regulation in daily life activities Self-Regulatory Strength is a Limited Resource Pool S-R Fuel Tank (Willpower) Inhibition & SelfRestraint The pool increases in capacity with maturation.
Self-Management to Time (NV-WM) Use of EF/SR reduces the pool. temporarily Self-Organization & ProblemSolving (V-WM) Emotional SelfRegulation Self-Motivation So Does: Stress, Alcohol, Drug Use, & Illness
Replenishing the EF/SR Resource Pool S-R Fuel Tank (Willpower) Greater Rewards and Positive Emotions Statements of SelfEfficacy and Encouragement 10 minute breaks between EF/SR tasks 3+ minutes of relaxation or meditation Visualizing and talking
about future rewards before and during SR demanding tasks Regular limited practice using EF/SR and the Willpower Pool can increase later pool capacity. However, the capacity may eventually diminish once practice is terminated. Routine physical exercise; Also
Glucose ingestion Adapted from Bauer, I. M. & Baumeister, R. F. (2011). Self-regulatory strength. In K. Vohs & R. Baumeister (Eds.), Handbook of Self-Regulation (2nd ed.) (pp. 64-82). New York: Guilford Press Conclusions The EF/SR system is multi-leveled and arranged in a hierarchy over maturation ADHD disrupts behavioral inhibition and the internalization of the instrumental selfdirected EFs producing a cascading of deficits into higher levels of EF By disrupting EF/SR, ADHD affects:
Self-restrain or inhibit behavior, thoughts, words, emotions Self-manage to time; anticipate and prepare for the future Self-organize and problem solve across time Self-motivate across time Self-regulate emotions across time Conclusions Behavior in people with ADHD cannot be hierarchically organized and sustained in support of longer term goals and welfare This results in a serious and pervasive disorder of selfregulation across time and settings and impaired social functioning (reciprocity, cooperation, and mutualism) Preventing them from dealing effectively with the probable future and pursuing ones long-term goals and welfare Thereby requiring the design of prosthetic environments that compensate for EF/SR deficits while using neurogenetic medicines to temporarily improve or normalize
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