Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 293–305 | Cite as

How Do Children with ADHD (Mis)manage Their Real-Life Dyadic Friendships? A Multi-Method Investigation

  • Sébastien NormandEmail author
  • Barry H. SchneiderEmail author
  • Matthew D. Lee
  • Marie-France Maisonneuve
  • Sally M. Kuehn
  • Philippe Robaey


This multimethod study provides detailed information about the friendships of 87 children (76% boys) with ADHD and 46 comparison children aged 7–13 years. The methods included parent and teacher ratings, self-report measures and direct observation of friends’ dyadic behaviors in three structured analogue tasks. Results indicated that, in contrast with comparison children, children with ADHD had friends with high levels of ADHD and oppositional symptoms; they perceived fewer positive features and more negative features, and were less satisfied in their friendships. Observational data indicated that children with ADHD performed both more legal and more illegal maneuvers than comparison children in a fast-paced competitive game. While negotiating with their friends, children with ADHD made more insensitive and self-centered proposals than comparison children. In dyads consisting of one child with ADHD and one typically developing child, children with ADHD were often more dominant than their friends.


ADHD Friendship Peer relationships Observational Study 



This research was financially supported by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to the second, fifth and sixth author, and by a doctoral fellowship from the Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, a research grant from the Consortium National de Formation en Santé, and scholarships from the University of Ottawa to the first author. We express appreciation to all the children, parents, and teachers who participated in our study, and the schools, scout organizations, psychologists, pediatricians and family physicians who provided referrals. The dedicated assistance of Héloise Sirois-Leclerc, Mathieu Saindon, Rana Sioufi, Marie-France Perrier, Caroline Normand, Pierce McKennirey, Julie Norman, Carmel Jacob, Marie-Claude Borgeat, Mylene Jodoin-Roy, Annick Tanguay, Julie Tanguay, Caroline Drisdelle, Elizabeth Jani, Kelly Weegar, Bess Mathieu, Panyada Phandanouvong, Sophie Bjornson, Venessa Labrèche, Marie-Christine Beaudoin, Pamela Brasseur, Benoit Décarie, Amber Emms, and Mae Kroeis is also gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sébastien Normand
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barry H. Schneider
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthew D. Lee
    • 1
  • Marie-France Maisonneuve
    • 2
  • Sally M. Kuehn
    • 3
  • Philippe Robaey
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Clinique d’apprentissage spécialiséeGatineauCanada
  3. 3.Children’s Hospital of Eastern OntarioOttawaCanada

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