Setting and task conditions were assessed for their effects on the language of hyperactive children. Verbal data were recorded for 22 hyperactive children and 22 elementary-age controls during four storytelling tasks and transitions, and under two conditions of a nonverbal performance task in a counterbalanced order. Findings were that hyperactive children were more spontaneously talkative than their classmates during transitions and nonverbal tasks (nonelicited conditions) but were less talkative when they were asked to tell stories (elicited conditions). These findings and those attributable to the story comparisons were interpreted in line with the optimal stimulation theory, which suggests that minimal stimulus input (delays and nonelicited conditions) precipitate excessive verbal activity from hyperactive children. Production deficiencies, on the other hand, were specific to type of stimulus input to be processed. Stories requiring organization and planning without the external structure or salience of visual cues (a sequence of word cards or pictures) produced production deficiencies.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Blunden, D., Spring, C., & Greenberg, L. M. (1974). Validation of the classroom behavior inventory.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 84–88.
Browning, R. M. (1967). Hypo-responsiveness as a behavioral correlate of brain damage in children.Psychological Reports, 20, 251–259.
Cairns, E., & Cammock, J. (1978). Development of a more reliable version of the Matching Familiar Figures Test.Developmental Psychology, 5, 555–560.
Carlson, R. (1963). Recent research in originality.Elementary English, 40, 583–589.
Carlson, R. (1965). Sparkling words: Two hundred practical and creative writing ideas. Berkeley, CA: Wagner.
Carroll, I. (1964).Language and thought. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Conners, C. K. (1973). Rating scales for use in drug studies with children (Special issue).Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 9, 24–84.
Copeland, A. P. (1979). Types of private speech produced by hyperactive and nonhyperactive boys.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 7, 169–177.
Copeland, A. P., & Weissbrod, C. S. (1978). Behavioral correlates of the hyperactivity factor of the Conners Teacher Questionnaire.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 6, 339–343.
Cunningham, C. E., Siegel, L. S., & Offord, D. R. (1985). A developmental dose-response analysis of the effects of methylphenidate on the peer interactions of attention deficit disordered boys.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26, 955–971.
Davids, A. (1971). An objective instrument for assessing hyperkinesis in children.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 4, 35–37.
Dienske, H., DeJonge, G., & Sanders-Woudstra, J. A. R. (1985). Quantitative criteria for attention and activity in child psychiatric patients.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26, 895–915.
Garnett, K. (1986). Telling tales: Narratives and learning disabled children.Topics in Language Disorders, 6, 44–56.
Hebb, D. O. (1955). Drives and the CNS (conceptual nervous system).Psychological Review, 62, 243–254.
Ludlow, C. L., Rapoport, J. L., Bassich, C. J., & Mikkelsen, E. G. (1980). Differential effects of dextroamphetamine on language performance in hyperactive and normal boys. In R. M. Knights & D. J. Bakker (Eds.),Treatment of hyperactive and learning disordered children. Baltimore: University Park Press.
Madan-Swain, A. J., & Zentall, S. S. (1988).Behavioral comparisons of accepted and rejected hyperactive children and behavioral accommodations by their matched controls in play settings. Manuscript submitted for publication.
Mayer, M., & Mayer, M. (1974).One frog too many. New York: Dial Press.
Moore, L., & Mastrollo, L. V. (Eds.). (1958). Who did it?Reader's Digest Skill Builder (Grade 2, Part 1). Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest Service.
Pelham, W. E., & Bender, M. E. (1982). Peer relationships in hyperactive children: Description and treatment. In K. D. Gadow (Ed.),Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities (Vol. 1, pp. 365–436). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Reese, H. W. (1962). Verbal mediation as a function of age level.Psychological Bulletin, 59, 502–509.
Ullmann, R. K., Sleator, E. K., & Sprague, R. L. (1985). A change of mind: The Conners Abbreviated Rating Scales reconsidered.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 13, 553–565.
Weiss, G., & Hechtman, L. T. (1986).Hyperactive children grown up. New York: Guilford Press.
Whalen, C. K., Collins, B. E., Henker, B., Alkus, S. R., Adams., D., & Stapp, J. (1978). Behavior observations of hyperactive children and methylphenidate (Ritalin) effects in systematically structured classroom environments: Now you see them now you don't.Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 3, 177–187.
Williams, B. J., Vincent, J. P., & Elrod, J. T. (1977).The behavioral components of hyperactivity. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco.
Zentall, S. (1975). Optimal stimulation as theoretical basis of hyperactivity.American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 45, 549–563.
Zentall, S. S. (1980). Behavioral comparisons of hyperactive and normally active children in natural settings.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 8, 93–109.
Zentall, S. S. (1984). Context effects in the behavioral ratings of hyperactive children.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 12, 345–352.
Zentall, S. S. (1985a). A context for hyperactivity. In K. D. Gadow (Ed.),Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities (Vol. 4, pp. 273–343). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Zentall, S. S. (1985b). Stimulus-control factors in search performance of hyperactive children.Journal of Learning Disabilities, 18, 480–485.
Zentall, S. S., & Barack, R. S. (1979). Rating scales for hyperactivity: Concurrent validity, reliability, and decision to label for the Conners and Davids abbreviated scales.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 7, 179–190.
Zentall, S. S., Gohs, D. E., & Culatta, B. (1983). Language and activity of hyperactive and comparison preschoolers in a listening task.Exceptional Children, 50, 255–266.
Zentall, S. S., & Kruczek, T. (1988). The attraction of color for active attention problem children.Exceptional Children, 54, 357–362.
Zentall, S. S., & Shaw, J. H. (1980). Effects of classroom noise on performance and activity of second-grade hyperactive and control children.Journal of Educational Psychology, 72, 830–840.
Zentall, S. S., & Zentall, T. R. (1983). Optimal stimulation: A model of disordered activity and performance in normal and deviant children.Psychological Bulletin, 94, 446–471.
I thank Margo Wilson for her expertise in the development and scoring of the language measures. I am also grateful to Mary Kemper for help with data collection, and to Joe Boggs and Connie Hobbs for their assistance with data analyses.
About this article
Cite this article
Zentall, S.S. Production deficiencies in elicited language but not in the spontaneous verbalizations of hyperactive children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 16, 657–673 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00913476
- Verbal Data
- Performance Task
- Task Condition
- Verbal Activity
- Stimulus Input