Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 303–317 | Cite as

Self-control behavior in hyperactive and nonhyperactive children

  • Michael Rosenbaum
  • Evelyn Baker


This study was aimed at evaluating the self-control behaviors of hyperactive (HA) and nonhyperactive (NHA) first-grade pupils under conditions of repeated failure on a previously learned concept formation task. Subjects were divided into HA and NHA groups on the basis of their scores on the Conners (1969) Teacher Rating Scale. During the training stage of the experiment the children learned a concept formation task under a schedule of contingent positive reinforcement. In the test stage they performed the same task but under a negative noncontingent reinforcement schedule. The results revealed no differences in initial rate of learning the task between the groups. After the introduction of the negative noncontingent reinforcement schedule, however, the HA group showed a marked decrease in the use of effective problem-solving strategies. The HA children's performance on the concept formation task was accompanied by the emission of negative self-evaluations and solution-irrelevant statements. The NHA group used significantly more statements showing useful goal directed cognitive mediations than the HA children. The results suggested that HA children may have deficits in self-control skills.


Initial Rate Marked Decrease Teacher Rate Positive Reinforcement Test Stage 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Rosenbaum
    • 1
  • Evelyn Baker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.University of HaifaHafia

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