King's College London

Research portal

The effects of emotional lability, mind wandering and sleep quality on ADHD symptom severity in adults with ADHD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Early online date29 Oct 2018
Accepted/In press22 Sep 2018
E-pub ahead of print29 Oct 2018
PublishedJan 2019


King's Authors


Mind wandering, emotional lability and sleep quality are currently mostly independently investigated but are all interlinked and play a major role is adult attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Emotional lability is a core feature of the disorder, excessive mind wandering has recently been linked to symptoms and impairments of ADHD and poor sleep quality is experienced by a clear majority of adults with ADHD. All three phenomena lead to functional impairment in ADHD, however their relationship to each other and to ADHD symptom severity is not well understood. Here we used serial multiple mediation models to examine the influence of mind wandering, sleep quality and emotional lability on ADHD symptom severity. 81 adults diagnosed with ADHD participated in this study. We found that mind wandering and emotional lability predicted ADHD symptom severity and that mind wandering, emotional lability and sleep quality were all linked and significantly contributed to the symptomatology of adult ADHD. Mind wandering was found to lead to emotional lability which in turn lead to ADHD symptom severity; and poor sleep quality was found to exacerbate mind wandering leading to ADHD symptoms. Future research should employ objective on-task measures of mind wandering, sleepiness and emotional lability to investigate the neural basis of these impairing deficits in ADHD. © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454