High BAS, but not low BIS, predicts externalizing symptoms in adults

Psychology Department, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 296 Eberhart Building, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, USA
Personality and Individual Differences (Impact Factor: 1.95). 02/2008; 44(3):565-575. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.09.018


The current study examined the role of Behavioral Approach System (BAS) and Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) sensitivity in predicting symptoms along the externalizing dimension of psychopathology. A sample of 273 undergraduates completed measures of BAS, BIS, and externalizing disorder symptomatology. Regression analyses indicated that high BAS predicted drug abuse, alcohol abuse, primary and secondary psychopathy, and hyperactive-impulsive AD/HD symptoms. Whereas low BIS predicted drug use and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms only, high BIS predicted secondary psychopathy and inattentive AD/HD symptoms. These results replicate previous findings and suggest that high BAS is closely associated with the externalizing dimension. In contrast, the results from the current study call into question the role of low BIS in externalizing disorders and provide only limited support for the joint-subsystems hypothesis in this context. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract) DOI: doi:10.1016/j.paid.2007.09.018

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    • "A recent meta-analysis of general personality associations with ADHD suggests executive and motivational deficits in both symptom groups, though inattention was more strongly linked to executive and hyperactivity/ impulsivity more strongly to motivational traits (Gomez & Corr, 2014). With regards to the RST, ADHD-inattention has been linked to increased levels of BIS (Gomez & Corr, 2010; Hundt, Kimbrel, Mitchell, & Nelson-Gray, 2008; Mitchell & Nelson-Gray, 2006), whereas hyperactivity/impulsivity has been mainly associated with increased BAS (Gomez & Corr, 2010), though also with reduced (Hundt et al., 2008) or increased BIS (Mitchell & Nelson- Gray, 2006) in non-clinical samples. These findings are consistent with overactive BAS, but inconsistent regarding the role of an underactive BIS in ADHD. "
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Tourette Syndrome (TS) present as distinct conditions clinically; however, they show comorbidity and inhibitory control deficits have been proposed to underlie both. The role of reinforcement sensitivity in ADHD has been studied previously, but no study has addressed this in relation to TS-like behaviors in the general population. The present study examined these associations within the remit of the revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (rRST). One hundred and thirty-eight participants completed psychometric measures of the rRST, and self-report checklists for ADHD- and TS-like behaviors. The results show that whilst ADHD-inattention was only linked to increased anxiety (BIS), ADHD-hyperactivity/impulsivity was linked to increased impulsivity (BAS-fun seeking), anxiety (BIS) and punishment sensitivity (FFFS), and to reduced reward sensitivity (BAS-reward responsiveness), independently of ‘comorbid’ TS-like behaviors. TS-related phonic tics were associated with increased BIS and FFFS, and TS-related obsessive-compulsive behaviors (OCBs) with increased goal-orientation (BAS-drive) and reduced impulsivity (BAS-fun seeking). However, these associations were driven by ADHD-like behaviors or OCB co-occurrence, respectively, suggesting little role of the rRST in pure TS-like behaviors. The results are discussed in light of mixed findings in the literature and the importance of distinguishing between multiple processing models of the rRST in distinct disorder phenotypes.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Personality and Individual Differences
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    • "For example, Mitchell and Nelson-Gray (2006) found that sensitivity to reward, but not sensitivity to punishment, was related to adults' hyperactivity–impulsivity symptoms when both sensitivity to reward and punishment were included in a regression model. Hundt et al. (2008) also found sensitivity to reward to be positively related to hyperactivity-impulsivity among adults, but sensitivity to punishment was negatively related to these symptoms. In addition, adults diagnosed with ADHD score higher on experimental and self-report measures of responsiveness to reward compared to adults without ADHD (Mitchell, Robertson, Kimbrel , & Nelson-Gray, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Research demonstrates that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) are likely separate constructs, but no study has examined whether personality dimensions are differentially associated with ADHD and SCT. This study tested the hypothesis that sensitivity to reward would be associated with ADHD symptoms whereas sensitivity to punishment would be associated with SCT symptoms. This hypothesis was examined in a community sample of children ages 9–12 (N = 89; 56% male). As expected, sensitivity to reward (and impulsivity/fun seeking specifically) was associated with ADHD and broadband externalizing symptoms, whereas sensitivity to punishment (and Fear/Shyness specifically) was associated with SCT and broadband internalizing symptoms. Although preliminary, these results suggest that distinct personality dimensions may contribute to the presence of ADHD/externalizing or SCT/internalizing symptoms.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Research in Personality
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    • "O'Connor, Stewart, & Watt, 2009), depressive and manic episodes within bipolar disorder (Alloy et al., 2008), externalizing disorders (e.g. Hundt, Kimbrel, Mitchell, & Nelson-Gray, 2008) and suicidality (Daniel, Goldston, Erkanli, Franklin, & Mayfield, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a prevalent behaviour, particularly among young adults. Little is known, however, about the mechanisms underlying NSSI or the personality correlates of these behaviours. The goal of this study was to examine the roles of the behavioural activation and inhibition systems (BAS and BIS) in NSSI. A total of 604 undergraduates completed two self-report measures of BAS and BIS, as well as NSSI history. Logistic and negative binomial linear regressions were used to examine the relationships between measures of BAS and BIS and the presence and course characteristics of NSSI. Approximately 30% of participants reported a history of NSSI. High scores on BAS (drive, reward and fun seeking), combined with low scores on BIS total, predicted NSSI history. However, the opposite was also true, with high levels of BIS total, combined with low levels of BAS (drive, reward and fun seeking), also predicting NSSI history. In addition, several BAS by BIS interactions predicted an NSSI course characterized by more acts and methods used. This study supports the roles of both BAS and BIS in NSSI and takes the first step in identifying how these personality correlates may help identify individuals at risk for NSSI. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Personality and Mental Health
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