Components of attention, reward, and behavioral inhibition and dimensions of behavior disorder in children

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Herbert C. Quay - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Donald K. Routh - Committee Member


Behaviorally disordered and non-disordered pre-adolescent and adolescent boys (8-16 years) were rated on four scales (CD), (SA), (AP) and (AW) of the Revised Behavior Problem Checklist (Quay & Peterson, 1987) and then tested on three tasks assessing behavioral inhibition, impulsivity, and reward-driven behavior. There were no significant correlations between scores on the CD scale and any of the tasks. Scores on the SA scale were significantly correlated with poorer performance on the efficiency ratio of the inhibition task and perseveration on the reward task even after controlling for age and grade. High scorers on the SA scale did not earn as much money and played more cards on the reward task and were less efficient on the inhibition task. Analysis of correlations between scores on the AW scale and the various tasks indicated that high scorers had fewer correct responses on the inhibition task and more errors of omission and commission on the impulsivity task after controlling for age and grade. Analysis of the correlations between scores on the AP scale and the tasks, controlling for age and grade, revealed that high scorers on the AP scale were unrelated to the correct responses on the DRL task and to the errors of commission on the CPT.


Psychology, Clinical

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