loading page

The Interaction of ADHD-Traits and Trait Anxiety on Inhibitory Control
  • +1
  • Carolynn Hare,
  • Erin Panda (formerly White),
  • Sidney Segalowitz,
  • Ayda Tekok-Kilic
Carolynn Hare
University of Western Ontario

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Erin Panda (formerly White)
Brock University
Author Profile
Sidney Segalowitz
Brock University
Author Profile
Ayda Tekok-Kilic
Brock University
Author Profile


ADHD and anxiety frequently occur together; however, the cognitive outcomes of co-morbid anxiety and ADHD are not straightforward. A potential explanation for conflicting results in the literature may be that different core ADHD symptoms show different interactions with anxiety depending on the task processing demands. To address this question, we investigated whether different ADHD traits are related to different inhibitory outcomes, contingent upon the level of trait anxiety. The sample consists of 60 non-clinical university students (X ̅age= 20.5, 53% male). Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS-SL) and State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to measure ADHD-traits and anxiety, respectively. The participants completed a visual Go/NoGo task with and without distractor conditions while continuous EEG was recorded. Inhibitory control was operationalized as the frontocentral N2 maximum peak amplitude elicited in response inhibition (NoGo/No Distractor), cognitive inhibition (Go/Distractor), dual inhibition (NoGo/Distractor), and control (Go/No Distractor) conditions. We analyzed the moderating effect of trait anxiety on the prediction of inhibitory control by ADHD scores for each Go/NoGo condition with the varying inhibition demands. Results showed that trait anxiety moderated the effects of total ADHD and hyperactivity-impulsivity scores, but only in the response inhibition condition (NoGo/No Distractor). Additionally, inattentiveness was related to attenuated N2 amplitudes in the cognitive inhibition condition (Go/Distractor). These findings suggest that depending on the inhibitory demands of the task, unique cognitive outcomes may occur when different ADHD traits coexist with anxiety.
18 Sep 2023Submitted to Psychophysiology
18 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
18 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
18 Sep 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
01 Mar 20241st Revision Received
07 Mar 2024Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Apr 2024Editorial Decision: Revise Minor