Anxiety, Goal Management Training and ADHD

IntroductionDespite the high prevalence and detrimental consequences of cognitive and executive dysfunction in ADHD, the evidence base of cognitive remediation in the adult ADHD population is sparse. Executive problems can increase both anxiety and depression in ADHD. Thcus, it is important to develop treatment options for adults with ADHD, aiming to improve goal-directed behavior and mood. Goal Management Training (GMT) is an intervention that has received empirical support in improving executive functions and mood in normal aging and for various neurological and psychiatric conditions. The present randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of a goal-focused intervention combining 1) group-based GMT incorporating psychoeducation about ADHD and 2) guidance in implementing individual goals for coping with executive problems in everyday life, compared to treatment as usual (TAU). The primary outcome was perceived executive functioning in everyday life. Secondary outcomes included psychological well-being (anxiety, depression, and coping with ADHD symptoms).MethodsWe recruited 81 adult participants with a verified ADHD diagnosis (Mage   = 31 years). Inclusion was based upon the presence of executive functioning complaints. The participants were randomly assigned to either the intervention or TAU. The intervention group (n = 41) received 16 hours of GMT and psychoeducation, in addition to 4 individual sessions focusing on formulating goals. The goals were assessed in 6 bi-weekly phone calls in the first three months following the group sessions. Participants in the TAU group (n = 40) received standard, individually-adapted follow-up in an outpatient psychiatric health care setting. All participants were assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and at 8-month follow-up (main measurement time point).ResultsSignificant improvements in everyday executive functioning, psychological wellbeing, and symptoms of ADHD from baseline to 8-month follow-up were reported in both groups. The intervention group reported a significantly higher reduction in symptoms of anxiety compared to TAU. Conclusions. Our findings provide support for considering cognitive remediation as a treatment option for patients with ADHD.Clinical Trial Registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/study/NCT04638283?term=NCT04638283&rank=1, identifier: NCT04638283.

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A meta-analysis of the dark side of the American dream: Evidence for the universal wellness costs of prioritizing extrinsic over intrinsic goals.

Self-determination theory holds that the intrinsic and extrinsic content of people’s aspirations differentially affect their wellness. An evidence base spanning nearly 30 years indicates that focusing on intrinsic goals (such as for growth, relationships, community giving, and health) promotes well-being, whereas a focus on extrinsic goals (such as for wealth, fame, and beauty) deters well-being. Yet, the evidence base contains exceptions, and some authors have argued that focusing on extrinsic goals may not be universally detrimental. We conducted a systematic review and used multilevel meta-analytic structural equation modeling to evaluate the links between intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations with indices of well-being and ill-being. Across 92 reports (105 studies), 1,808 effects, and a total sample of N = 70,110, we found that intrinsic aspirations were linked positively with well-being, r = 0.24 [95% CI 0.22, 0.27], and negatively with ill-being, r = −0.11 [−0.14, −0.08]. When the variety of extrinsic aspiration scoring methods were combined, the link with well-being was not statistically significant, r = 0.02 [−0.02, 0.06]. However, when extrinsic aspirations were evaluated in terms of their predominance in the overall pattern of aspiring the effect was universally detrimental, linking negatively to well-being, r = −0.22 [−0.32, −0.11], and positively to ill-being, r = 0.23 [0.17, 0.30]. Meta-analytic conclusions about the associations between goal types and wellness are important because they inform how individuals could shape aspirations to support their own happiness and how groups and institutions can frame goals such that their pursuit is for the common good. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

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