Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

F. Richard Ferraro


The present study examined objective measurements of cognitive performance in tasks a clinician may use when evaluating an adult for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to determine if the cell phone behavior and self-reported text-message dependency and social media use accounted for the variance in scores. Seventy-four participants were included. in stepwise multiple regression analyses. Independent sample t-tests found age of first cell phone was significantly higher for men than women and reported significantly decreased sense of control over their social media use. Reported number of texting behavior (i.e. daily number of texts sent, received, and checked) were positively correlated with perceived excessive use measured by Self-Perception of Text Messaging Dependence Scale; however, increased anxiety, disappointment, and need to maintain relationships were not correlated which suggest a possible concrete evaluation of participant’s dependence. Stepwise regression analyses included two remarkable findings of reported cell phone behavior in scores on Controlled Oral Word Association Task (COWAT) and Conners’ Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II) Omissions. Texts sent and received predicted lower scores on COWAT FAS and Animals, while length of cell phone ownership (i.e. age of first cell phone) predicted higher inattention scores on CPT-II Omissions. These two findings, therefore, warrant future research to examine if a causative effect of cell phone behavior is present in these two assessments which suggest clinician caution in interpretation between ADHD and learned behavior impulsivity.