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Digital Recordings

The Importance of Emotion in Understanding and Managing ADHD

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Russell A. Barkley, PhD
1 Hour 29 Minutes
Audio and Video
Sep 13, 2012
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Media Type:
Digital Recordings


ADHD is currently understood to be a disorder of inattention, impulsivity, and usually hyperactivity that arises in childhood or early adolescence and is highly persistent over time in most cases.  However, since the first medical papers have been published on ADHD starting in 1798, emotion has always been included in the conceptualization of the disorder up through the 1970s.  Beginning with DSM-II and progressing to the present, emotional dysregulation has been excluded from the clinical conceptualization of the disorder and the diagnostic criteria and relegated to an associated problem or the result of comorbid disorders. 

This presentation reviews the evidence from the history, neuropsychology, neuro-anatomy, and observational research that shows that emotional impulsiveness and deficient emotional self-regulation are an integral part of ADHD.  Returning emotion to its rightful place as a core feature of the disorder also serves to better explain the development of comorbid disorders, such as oppositional defiant disorder, and well as various life course impairments.  Dr. Barkley, internationally recognized authority on ADHD, will discuss how to determine which aspects of emotional adjustment problems in ADHD cases are the result of the disorder and which are likely to be the consequence of comorbidity or other life course circumstances.  He will also address the implications of including emotion in ADHD for its management.



This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD.



Russell A. Barkley, PhD's Profile

Russell A. Barkley, PhD Related seminars and products

Russell A. Barkley, PhD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, VA.  He is a Diplomate (board certified) in three specialties, Clinical Psychology (ABPP), Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN, ABPP).  Dr. Barkley is a clinical scientist, educator, and practitioner who has published 23 books, rating scales, and clinical manuals numbering 41 editions.  He has also published more than 270 scientific articles and book chapters related to the nature, assessment, and treatment of ADHD and related disorders and is the author of the book Managing ADHD in School (PESI, 2016).

He is the founder and editor of the bimonthly clinical newsletter, The ADHD Report, now in its 25th year of publication. Dr. Barkley has presented more than 800 invited addresses internationally and appeared on nationally televised programs such as 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, and many other programs on behalf of those with ADHD.  He has received awards from the professional societies and ADHD organizations for his lifetime achievements, career accomplishments, contributions to research in ADHD, to clinical practice, and for the dissemination of science. His websites are and

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dr. Russell Barkley is a published author and receives royalties. He receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. Dr. Barkley receive a speaking fee from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceutical Company,, and the American Psychological Association. All financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.

Non-financial: Dr. Russell Barkley is voluntary faculty at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. He is a member of the South Carolina Psychological Association and the American Professional Society for ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD).


  • Summarize history of ADHD and the central place of emotion in the conceptualization of the disorder
  • Explain the current neuropsychological theories of ADHD and the key role of emotional self-regulation problems in understanding the nature of ADHD
  • Describe the neuro-anatomy of ADHD and why those brain regions implicated in the disorder would be associated with poor emotional self-regulation
  • Recognize why certain comorbid disorders such as ODD are better explained by the role of emotion in ADHD than by the current DSM view of ADHD
  • Identify how dysregulated emotional control in ADHD predicts the development of various life course impairments
  • Summarize the role of poor emotion regulation in the assessment and management of ADHD


Current View of ADHD

History of Involvement of Emotion in ADHD

  • Poor Emotion Regulation is in ADHD back to 1775
  • DSM-II Eliminates Emotional Dysregulation from ADHD

Neuro-anatomy of ADHD

  • Disturbances to Anterior Cingulate Cortex

Neuropsychology of ADHD

  • Involvement of “Hot” Emotional Executive Circuits

Review of Psychological Evidence

  • Emotional Impulsiveness
  • Poor Self-Regulation of Emotion

Unique Contribution of Emotional Impulsiveness to Impairments

Role of Emotional Impulsiveness

  • Risk for Comorbid Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Implications of Emotional Dysregulation for Diagnosis

Implications of Poor Emotional Self-Regulation for Treatment

Target Audience

Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Case Managers, Addiction Counselors, Therapists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists/Occupational Therapy Assistants, Teachers/Educators, Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 1

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