Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 363–378

The Role of Simple Emotion Recognition Skills among School Aged Boys at Risk of ADHD

Original Paper


Poor social skills and behavioral problems are a major component of ADHD. The different explanations offered so far, such as cognitive deficits and deficient self regulation, have not been able fully to account for the various aspects of the social dysfunction, suggesting that other mechanisms might underlay this impairment. Our study sought to assess the emotion recognition of Israeli boys at risk of ADHD, and to evaluate its associations with their social skills. A group of 111 boys (grades 4 and 5) were assigned to an At-risk (n=50) and a control (n=61) group based on their scores in an ADHD symptoms questionnaire. The two groups were matched on age, socio-economic status and class and school environment. Group comparisons revealed that compared to their non-At-risk counterparts, At-risk boys have impaired emotion recognition. Finally, multiple groups Structural Equation Modeling analyses (SEM) demonstrated that emotion misrecognition plays a significant role in the At-risk children’s social functioning and behavioral problems compared to its role in the social competence and behavioral problems among the comparison group. Implications for the understanding and treatment of social skills problems among children at risk of ADHD are proposed.


ADHD Social skills Emotion recognition Emotional competence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioral SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.Sapir Academic CollegeD.N. Hof AshkelonAshkelonIsrael

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