Utilization behavior in boys with ADHD: A test of Barkley's theory

Megan Foley Nicpon, David L. Wodrich, Sharon Kurpius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Barkley's (1997) comprehensive theory of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) predicts that affected children express frontal lobe related impairments, including expression of utilization behavior-the appropriate use of an object in an inappropriate context. Nineteen boys with and 20 without ADHD were exposed to a series of utilitarian (potentially utilization-inducing) and neutral objects. Boys in the ADHD group exhibited more utilization behavior and did so more quickly than boys in the control group; engagement with utilitarian objects and tendencies to do so quickly best predicted ADHD and control group membership. Beyond utilization behavior distinctions, general impulsivity differences were seen between boys with ADHD and control group counterparts, but these were less pronounced than the utilization behavior differences. Results offer support for utilization behavior's place in Barkley's theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-751
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 13 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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