Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Andrew F. Newcomb

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A. Blick

Third Advisor

Dr. Edith S. Ott


This study examined the influence of family functioning and medication on the peer relations of ADHD children. Experiment 1 focused on parental functioning -- patterns of parenting, stress and conflict, and parental psychopathology -- and how these variables affected ADHD children's peer relations. Experiment 2 examined the effects of Ritalin on peer relations in ADHD children. In Experiment 1, pervasive ADHD (PADHD) and situational ADHD (SADHD) children were assessed for peer relations, family management, family stress, and parental psychopathology. Significant differences were found between mothers of PADHD children and mothers of SADHD children in the Stress Analysis System (Accountability and Anger-In subscales) and the Cohesion sub-scale of FACES-III, indicating that mothers of PADHD children experienced more anxiety than did SADHD mothers, and that families of PADHD children had less communication than families of SADHD children. Experiment 2 consisted of ADHD children participating in a double-blind drug procedure with Ritalin and placebo. These children were assessed for level of hyperkensis and peer relations. Significant differences between Ritalin and placebo indicated that Ritalin reduced hyperkenesis and level of social aggression in ADHD children, as well as increased frequency of prosocial relations.

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Psychology Commons