Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disordered and Control Boys' Responses to Social Success and Failure


The behavioral, self-evaluative, and attributional responses of 120 boys with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and 65 control boys to social success and failure were examined using a dyadic, laboratory get-acquainted task employing child confederates. Objective coders rated boys with ADHD as less socially effective than controls in their interactions, but also as less frustrated and helpless. In terms of self-evaluations, ADHD boys overwhelmingly rated their own performance more favorably than did controls and in some instances, these differences were more apparent following failure. The attributional pattern of ADHD and control boys differed in that ADHD boys were more likely than controls to attribute success to external, uncontrollable factors such as task ease and being lucky; controls, on the other hand, were more likely than ADHD boys to attribute initial failure to not having tried hard enough. Results are discussed in the context of existing literature documenting a positive illusory bias in ADHD boys' self-perceptions

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This article was made available online January 28, 2003.

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