Past Issues

The Reinforcement Sensitivity of Male Adults with Attention‑deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: the Association with Internet Addiction

Tai‑Ling Liu, Chen‑Hsiang Su, Jia‑In Lee, Chih‑Hung Ko

Objective: In this study, we intended to evaluate the association between reinforcement sensitivity and male adults with attention‑deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as the association between reinforcement sensitivity and Internet addiction. Methods: We recruited 52 male adults with ADHD and 52 healthy male controls. All participants received a diagnostic interview for ADHD and completed ratings with the Behavior Inhibition Scale (BIS), Behavior Activation Scale (BAS), Adult ADHD Self‑report Scale, and Chen Internet Addiction Scale to assess their reinforcement sensitivity, ADHD severity, and Internet addiction severity. Results: The study data showed that males with ADHD had significantly higher scores in BIS (22.06 ± 3.02 vs. 19.52 ± 2.49, p < 0.001), fun seeking (13.33 ± 2.03 vs. 11.10 ± 2.01, p < 0.001), BAS (44.42 ± 5.10 vs. 41.17 ± 4.79, p < 0.001), and Internet addiction (71.52 ± 14.60 vs. 51.98 ± 13.62, p < 0.001). Findings from the data showed that fun seeking was the most associated factor, followed by BIS. Furthermore, interpersonal and health problems were the most associated dimensions of Internet addiction associated with adult ADHD. The findings using the Pearson’s correlation among adults with ADHD revealed that reward sensitivity, drive, and BAS were associated with the severity of hyperactivity. Additionally, BIS was associated with the severity of Internet addiction. Conclusion: Adult ADHD is associated with fun seeking, BAS, and BIS. We suggest that clinicians need to pay attention to reinforcement sensitivity when treating adults with ADHD. Furthermore, male adults with ADHD had higher severity of Internet addiction. Their BIS was positively associated with the severity of Internet addiction; thus, Internet addiction should be well assessed and treated among adults with ADHD, particularly among those with higher BIS.
Key Word Adults, attention‑deficit/hyperactivity disorder, fun‑seeking, Internet addiction, reinforcement sensitivity
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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