Behavioral and Cardiovascular Responses to Frustration During Simulated Driving Tasks in Young Adults With and Without Attention Disorder Symptoms

  • Oliver M
  • Nigg J
  • Cassavaugh N
 et al. 
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Objective: The present study examined the role of negative emotions on driving performance in relation to ADHD, by comparing young adults scoring high on measures of ADHD (n = 20) with a control group (n = 22). Method: The authors used cardiorespiratory physiological measures, simulated driving behavior, and self-report to examine how participants with high and low ADHD symptoms responded to frustration and to determine how frustration affected simulated driving performance. Results: Groups did not differ in operational driving skills, but participants with high ADHD symptoms reported more frustration and exhibited more impairment at the tactical level of driving performance than the controls. There was significant suppression of respiratory sinus arrhythmia from resting baseline during tasks, but it did not differ between groups during driving. Conclusion: This article proposes that remedial driver training for ADHD populations should focus more on the control of negative emotions rather than on attention or fundamental driving skills. (J. of Att. Dis. 2012; 16(6) 478-490)

Author-supplied keywords

  • ADHD
  • negative emotions
  • respiratory sinus arrhythmia
  • simulated driving performance

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  • Michele L. Oliver

  • Joel T. Nigg

  • Nicholas D. Cassavaugh

  • Richard W. Backs

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