Peer Relations in Children with Hyperactivity/Attention Deficit Disorder


The first two of this year's Topical Reviews provided a primarily educational perspective on the social skills problems of learning disabled children. As a compliment to that perspective, this month's Topical Review, written by two clinical psychologists, discusses the identification and treatment of social/behavioral problems in hyperactive children. As is well known, hyperactive and learning disabled children have many difficulties in common, and disturbed social/peer relationships appear to be one of them. The present review discusses the potential causes of disturbed peer relationships in these children, as well as evaluating the relative effectiveness of behavioral, pharmacological, and educational treatments for them.

What is known and what needs to be known regarding the peer relationships of hyperactive children is reviewed. Hyperactive children, particularly those who are also aggressive, have serious disturbances in peer relations. Although several treatments have been investigated, no sufficient intervention has yet been discovered. Suggestions are offered for future studies of the nature, treatment, and predictive importance of these children's problems in peer relations.

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