Inhibitory Control TrainInhibitory Control Training and Disruptive Behaviour in Young People
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
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Objective: Adolescence is a period of crucial neuropsychological development. Executive control functions (ECF) develop during adolescence and are constructs involving the planning, initiation, and regula¬tion of goal-directed behaviour. ECFs include impulse control critical for behavioural regulation. Training approaches for improving inhibitory control (IC) and impulsivity in young people (YP) are in their infancy, although some positive effects have been found in adults. This research aimed to test the hypothesis that IC intervention would improve IC and impulsivity (direct, near and far-transfer effects) and improve behavioural-control (mid and far-transfer effects) in YP. Methods: Six healthy YP, aged 11-16 years, attending mainstream education, participated in this single-case, multiple-baseline experimental design. The participants completed assessments at three phase-change points and completed continuous measures of their own impulsivity and behaviour goals. Each participant completed a baseline and intervention phase of differing randomised lengths within the 20 day study. The data were analysed visually using non-parametric tests of difference, randomisations tests and indices of reliable change. Results: IC and impulsivity were not observed to improve with intervention based on direct and far-transfer effects and limited improvement was observed based on near-transfer effects. Overall, behavioural control was not observed to improve with intervention based on near and far-training effects, but limited improvements were observed for some individual participants. Conclusion: The intervention was not observed to be effective in reducing IC or improving behavioural control overall, with very limited effects found in individual cases, which are discussed in directions for future research.
Doctorate of Clinical Psychology