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20-03-2015 | Uitgave 2/2016 Open Access

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 2/2016

Cool Decision-Making in Adolescents with Behavior Disorder and/or Mild-to-Borderline Intellectual Disability

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 2/2016
Anika Bexkens, Brenda R. J. Jansen, Maurits W. Van der Molen, Hilde M. Huizenga


Adolescents with Behavior Disorders (BD), Mild-to-Borderline Intellectual Disability (MBID), and with both BD and MBID (BD + MBID) are known to take more risks than normal controls. To examine the processes underlying this increased risk-taking, the present study investigated cool decision-making strategies in 479 adolescents (12–18 years, 55.9 % male) from these four groups. Cool decision-making was assessed with the paper-and-pencil Gambling Machine Task. This task, in combination with advanced latent group analysis, allows for an assessment of decision strategies. Results indicated that adolescents with BD and controls were almost equivalent in their decision-making strategies, whereas adolescents with MBID and adolescents with BD + MBID were characterized by suboptimal decision-making strategies, with only minor differences between these two clinical groups. These findings may have important clinical implications, as they suggest that risk taking in adolescents with MBID and in adolescents with BD + MBID can be (partly) attributed to the strategies that these adolescents use to make their decisions. Interventions may therefore focus on an improvement of these strategies.

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