, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 293-305
Date: 08 Sep 2010

How Do Children with ADHD (Mis)manage Their Real-Life Dyadic Friendships? A Multi-Method Investigation

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This multimethod study provides detailed information about the friendships of 87 children (76% boys) with ADHD and 46 comparison children aged 7–13 years. The methods included parent and teacher ratings, self-report measures and direct observation of friends’ dyadic behaviors in three structured analogue tasks. Results indicated that, in contrast with comparison children, children with ADHD had friends with high levels of ADHD and oppositional symptoms; they perceived fewer positive features and more negative features, and were less satisfied in their friendships. Observational data indicated that children with ADHD performed both more legal and more illegal maneuvers than comparison children in a fast-paced competitive game. While negotiating with their friends, children with ADHD made more insensitive and self-centered proposals than comparison children. In dyads consisting of one child with ADHD and one typically developing child, children with ADHD were often more dominant than their friends.

Portions of this paper were presented at the 2008 Annual Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder International Conference, Anaheim, at the 2009 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Denver, and at the 2010 American Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Diego.