Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




The present study assesses the nature of the behavior of ADHD children in an initial social encounter with a peer. Eight pairs each of previously unacquainted ADHD/normal and normal/normal children were videotaped as they interacted in a free-play setting for 30 minutes. All ADHD subjects were currently receiving psychostimulant medication. As compared to the normal/normal dyads, the ADHD/normal dyads engaged in more solitary play as well as less associative play. The ADHD/normal dyads also had a greater latency to reach rule-governed associative play and engaged in less affective verbalization than the normal/normal dyads. Sequential analyses revealed that the normal/normal dyads, as compared to the ADHD/normal pairs, were significantly more likely to shift from solitary interactive play to constructive associative play as well as from constructive associative play to solitary interactive play. Also, the ADHD/normal dyads shifted more frequently to solitary interactive play from rough and tumble associative play than did the normal/normal dyads. These results indicate that ADHD children's difficulties in social relationships appear to be primarily the result of attentional problems associated with their childhood psychological disorder, rather than being the result of social skills deficits.

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