Mental contrasting with implementation intentions enhances self-regulation of goal pursuit in schoolchildren at risk for ADHD

Caterina Gawrilow, Katrin Morgenroth, Regina Schultz, Gabriele Oettingen, Peter M. Gollwitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Self-regulation is an important prerequisite for successful academic achievement, particularly for children who are at risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We taught Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII), a technique that is known to facilitate the self-regulation of goal pursuit, to schoolchildren (sixth- and seventh-graders) both at risk and not at risk for ADHD. Parents rated their children's level of self-regulation 2 weeks after the intervention. Children at risk and not at risk benefited from MCII more than from a learning style intervention only and the benefits of MCII were particularly strong for children at risk for ADHD. The results have implications with respect to supporting children's self-regulation in their everyday school lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-145
Number of pages12
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Children at risk for ADHD
  • Implementation intentions
  • Mental contrasting
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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