Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie H. Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Bradley Rosenfield, PsyD

Second Advisor

Robert DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

J. Russell Ramsay, PhD.


Sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) is a cluster of symptoms, including daydreaming, mental confusion, slowed thinking, and hypoactivity, that are believed to overlap and be frequently comorbid with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Research examining the relationship between personality and symptoms of SCT in adults with ADHD is limited. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether a relationship exists between SCT, Big Five personality factors, and ADHD, after accounting for comorbid anxiety and depression in a clinical adult sample. Archival data from a university-based outpatient clinic specializing in the assessment and treatment of adult ADHD were collected from an existing database. The sample included 204 participants who met inclusion criteria for the study. Big Five personality factors were assessed using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, SCT and current ADHD symptom severity were assessed using the Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scale-IV, depression was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and anxiety was assessed using the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. The results of this study demonstrated that self-reported depression, anxiety, and Conscientiousness predicted SCT severity. An inverse relationship between inattentive ADHD symptoms and Conscientiousness was also found. When SCT in participants diagnosed with inattentive and combined presentations of ADHD were compared, no significant difference was found. Hopefully, the present study is an informative addition to the understanding of SCT and will improve assessment and treatment recommendations for this complex and challenging disorder.