Emotion Understanding in Children with ADHD

  • David Da Fonseca
  • Valérie Seguier
  • Andreia Santos
  • François Poinso
  • Christine Deruelle
Original Article


Several studies suggest that children with ADHD tend to perform worse than typically developing children on emotion recognition tasks. However, most of these studies have focused on the recognition of facial expression, while there is evidence that context plays a major role on emotion perception. This study aims at further investigating emotion processing in children with ADHD, by assessing not only facial emotion recognition (Experiment 1) but also emotion recognition on the basis of contextual cues (Experiment 2). Twenty-seven children and adolescents with ADHD were compared to age-matched typically developing controls. Importantly, findings of this study show that emotion-processing difficulties in children with ADHD extend beyond facial emotion and also affect the recognition of emotions on the basis of contextual information. Our data thus indicate that children with ADHD have an overall emotion-processing deficit.


Emotion Context ADHD Social abilities Children Adolescent 



We greatly thank all the children who took part in this study and C. Rondan for her help on this manuscript preparation. A. Santos was supported by a grant from the FCT-MCTES (Portugal, SFRH/BD/18820/2004) to conduct this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Da Fonseca
    • 1
  • Valérie Seguier
    • 2
  • Andreia Santos
    • 3
  • François Poinso
    • 2
  • Christine Deruelle
    • 3
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Sainte Marguerite Hospital, Mediterranean Institute of Cognitive NeurosciencesCNRS, UMR 6193MarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry UnitSainte Marguerite HospitalMarseilleFrance
  3. 3.Mediterranean Institute of Cognitive NeurosciencesCNRS, UMR 6193MarseilleFrance

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