ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control

Russell A. Barkley

August 1, 1997
ISBN 9781572302501
Price: $75.00
410 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
September 28, 2005
ISBN 9781593852313
Price: $46.00
410 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"

This far-reaching work from renowned scientist-practitioner Russell A. Barkley provides a radical shift of perspective on ADHD. The volume synthesizes neuropsychological research and theory on the executive functions, illuminating how normally functioning individuals are able to bring behavior under the control of time and orient their actions toward the future. Meticulously applying this model to an examination of the cognitive and social impairments manifested in ADHD, Barkley offers compelling new directions for thinking about and treating the disorder. The paperback edition features a new afterword in which the author reflects on current research directions and the continuing evolution of his approach.

“Not only does this book provide a comprehensive history of ADHD, but it also offers new perspectives on the contributions of behavioral inhibition and executive functions to the syndrome. Numerous behavioral indicators that were not accounted for by prior theories are addressed by Barkley's new paradigm. This book is essential reading [and] furnishes valuable information for psychologists, psychiatrists, and educators.”

Contemporary Psychology

“Many of the ideas presented...are highly sophisticated. Yet the book is extremely reader friendly....All terms are clearly explained, and the reader is carefully walked through all logical leaps. Overall, the book presents what could be considered the first comprehensive theory of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder....It leads to numerous testable hypotheses, and as such, it is likely to stimulate thinking, empirical research and controversy well into the 21st century.”

Psychiatric Services

“This is an extremely important text, full of information and ideas....Will generate much discussion and research....The clinical implications are also very provocative, especially for clinicians using cognitive or meta-cognitive techniques....This is a seminal contribution and worthwhile reading for any serious student of ADHD.”

Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

“Eloquently offers a fundamentally different way of understanding the many lifelong psychosocial struggles that persons with ADHD have to cope with....The author's model is of enormous value in clinical efforts to find answers to some frequently asked questions....This book will undoubtedly be remembered as one that changed the way clinicians responded to the requests of parents, siblings, and spouses wishing to find a way to nurture rather than to react with anger, which is frequently elicited by their loved ones with ADHD.”

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

“This is a masterful synthesis of what we know about ADHD from the clinic and the laboratory. Dr. Barkley's focus on the failure of hyperactive children and adults to inhibit their behavior has major and useful implications for diagnosis and treatment. This book will make a lasting contribution.”

—Judith Rapoport, MD

“Kudos to Russell Barkley for his courage and tenacity in producing this elegant and eloquent synthesis of facts and concepts about ADHD. Besides being a landmark work of neuropsychiatric importance, this book is a great example of the best in scientific thought, bursting with a joyful creativity that is grounded in but not constricted by accumulated knowledge and conventional wisdom.”

—Martha Bridge Denckla, MD

“An important theoretical contribution that will generate a great deal of research interest. More importantly, the new clinical approaches that stem from this framework may be of significant immediate and long-term benefit to our patients.”

—Lily Hechtman, MD, FRCP, McGill University

Table of Contents

1. The Nature of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

2. Biological Etiologies Associated with ADHD

3. Defining Behavioral Inhibition, Self-Control, and Executive Function

4. Behavioral Inhibition and ADHD

5. Neuropsychological Views of the Executive Functions: The Origins of a Hybrid Model

6. Additional Evidence Supporting the Existence of the Executive Functions

7. Constructing the Hybrid Model of Executive Functions

8. Developmental Considerations: Self-Control as an Instinct

9. Extending the Hybrid Model of Executive Functions to ADHD

10. Evidence Supporting Executive Function Deficits in ADHD

11. Understanding ADHD and Self-Control: Social and Clinical Implications

Afterword (2005)

About the Author

Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ABPP, ABCN, is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Dr. Barkley has worked with children, adolescents, and families since the 1970s and is the author of numerous bestselling books for both professionals and the public, including Taking Charge of ADHD and Your Defiant Child. He has also published six assessment scales and more than 300 scientific articles and book chapters on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, executive functioning, and childhood defiance, and is editor of the newsletter The ADHD Report. A frequent conference presenter and speaker who is widely cited in the national media, Dr. Barkley is past president of the Section on Clinical Child Psychology (the former Division 12) of the American Psychological Association (APA), and of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. He is a recipient of awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the APA, among other honors. His website is


Researchers, students, and clinicians in clinical psychology, psychiatry, and neuropsychology, as well as other health care professionals interested in ADHD.

Course Use

Serves as a supplemental text for courses in child and adult psychopathology and child neuropsychology.