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ADHD and Present Hedonism: time perspective as a potential diagnostic and therapeutic tool

Authors Weissenberger S, Klicperova-Baker M, Zimbardo P, Schonova K, Akotia D, Kostal J, Goetz M, Raboch J, Ptacek R

Received 12 July 2016

Accepted for publication 21 September 2016

Published 16 November 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 2963—2971

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S116721

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


S Weissenberger,1 M Klicperova-Baker,2 P Zimbardo,3 K Schonova,1 D Akotia,1 J Kostal,2 M Goetz,4 J Raboch,1 R Ptacek1

1First Medical Faculty, Charles University, 2Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Praha, Czech Republic; 3Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; 4Second Faculty of Medicine, Department of Child Psychiatry, Charles University, Motol University Hospital, Praha, Czech Republic

Abstract: The article draws primarily from the behavioral findings (mainly psychiatric and psychological observations) and points out the important relationships between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and time orientation. Specifically, the authors argue that there is a significant overlap between the symptoms of ADHD and Present Hedonism. Present Hedonism is defined by Zimbardo’s time perspective theory and assessed by Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory. Developmental data on Present Hedonism of males and females in the Czech population sample (N=2201) are also presented. The hypothesis of relationship between ADHD and Present Hedonism is mainly derived from the prevalence of addictive behavior (mainly excessive Internet use, alcohol abuse, craving for sweets, fatty foods, and fast foods), deficits in social learning, and increased aggressiveness both in ADHD and in the population high on Present Hedonism. We conclude that Zimbardo’s time perspective offers both: 1) a potential diagnostic tool – the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, particularly its Present Hedonism scale, and 2) a promising preventive and/or therapeutic approach by the Time Perspective Therapy. Time Perspective Therapy has so far been used mainly to treat past negative trauma (most notably, posttraumatic stress disorder); however, it also has value as a potential therapeutic tool for possible behavioral compensation of ADHD.

Keywords: ADHD, time perspective, ZTPI, Zimbardo, addiction, alcoholism, delinquency, video games, problematic internet use

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