ADHD's Social Deficits Become Clear with Age. (Social Skills Training May Help)

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder notice their problems with academics or behavior but seem unaware of problems with their peer relationships until adolescence, Kara M. Brooklier said at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

A study of 29 children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 26 children without ADHD, and one parent of each child was conducted to assess the children's self-perceptions of scholastic competence, social acceptance, athletic competence, physical appearance, behavior conduct, and global self-worth. The children ranged in age from 8 to 14 years, with a mean age of 10 years.

Many previous studies have shown that children with ADHD tend to have pervasive social problems. In the current study, children with ADHD reported problems in behavioral or scholastic domains--areas in which they tend to receive clear feedback, such as grades. They did not report problems with social acceptance until adolescence, when social feedback and more direct cues of social functioning (such as not getting invited to parties) become more pressing, said Ms. Brooklier, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Wayne State University, Detroit.

Self-esteem in the ADHD group was lower than in the control group, with the lowest self-esteem levels seen during adolescence. …


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