, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1005-1017
Date: 21 Dec 2013

Effects of a Summer Treatment Program on Functional Sports Outcomes in Young Children with ADHD

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Abstract

Participation in youth sports can be very beneficial, but children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may participate less often and less successfully. The current study evaluated functional sports outcomes for children with ADHD who attended an intensive behavioral treatment program that included a sports training component, and it compared outcomes to children with ADHD who did not attend the program. Results suggest that treatment resulted in significant improvements in many aspects of children’s sports functioning, including knowledge of game rules, in vivo game performance, and fundamental skill tasks (motor proficiency, ability to trap a soccer ball appropriately, reduced handball penalties in soccer, and improved ability to catch a baseball). Parents also reported improved sports skills and good sportsmanship in the treatment group. No differences between groups were evident on additional skill tasks evaluating accurately kicking a soccer ball, throwing a baseball, or hitting a baseball off a tee. These results suggest intensive behavioral intervention that includes sports training can significantly improve functional sports outcomes for young children with ADHD.