OBJECTIVE: In adulthood, depressive mood is often comorbid with ADHD, but its role in ADHD-inattentiveness and especially relations with mind wandering remains to be elucidated. This study investigated the effects of laboratory-induced dysphoric mood on task-unrelated mind wandering and its consequences on cognitive task performance in college students with high (n = 46) or low (n = 44) ADHD-Inattention symptomatology and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity symptoms in the normal range.
METHODS: These non-clinical high/low ADHD-Inattention symptom groups underwent negative or positive mood induction after which mind wandering frequency was measured in a sustained attention (SART), and a reading task. Effects of ruminative response style and working memory capacity on mind wandering frequency were also investigated.
RESULTS: Significantly higher frequencies of self -reported mind wandering in daily life, in the SART and reading task were reported in the ADHD-Inattention symptom group, with detrimental effects on text comprehension in the reading task. Induced dysphoric mood did specifically enhance the frequency of mind wandering in the ADHD-Inattention symptom group only during the SART, and was related to their higher self-reported intrusive ruminative response styles. Working memory capacity did not differ between high/low attention groups and did not influence any of the reported effects.
CONCLUSIONS: These combined results suggest that in a non-clinical sample with high ADHD-inattention symptoms, dysphoric mood and a ruminative response style seem to be more important determinants of dysfunctional mind wandering than a failure in working memory capacity/executive control, and perhaps need other ways of remediation, like cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness training.
- Journal Article
- EVERYDAY ATTENTION
- SUSTAINED ATTENTION
- DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER