Impulsivity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Impulsivity refers to acting without thinking first. Impulsivity in a person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly likely to continue into adulthood.

People with symptoms of impulsivity often:

  • Are impatient with waiting their turn or waiting in line.
  • Blurt out answers before questions have been completed.
  • Interrupt or intrude on others, such as butting into conversations or games.
  • Engage in reckless, risky, or antisocial activities without thinking about the consequences. For example, children and teens may be suspended or expelled from school for irresponsible behavior. Impulsiveness may also affect driving skills and general safety.
  • Have temper outbursts.

Last Updated: April 17, 2008

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