Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 349–359 | Cite as

Observed Classroom Behavior of Children with ADHD: Relationship to Gender and Comorbidity

  • Howard B. Abikoff
  • Peter S. Jensen
  • L. L. Eugene Arnold
  • Betsy Hoza
  • Lily Hechtman
  • Simcha Pollack
  • Diane Martin
  • Jose Alvir
  • John S. March
  • Stephen Hinshaw
  • Benedetto Vitiello
  • Jeffrey Newcorn
  • Andrew Greiner
  • Dennis P. Cantwell
  • C. Keith Conners
  • Glen Elliott
  • Laurence L. Greenhill
  • Helena Kraemer
  • William E. PelhamJr.
  • Joanne B. Severe
  • James M. Swanson
  • Karen Wells
  • Tim Wigal
Article

Abstract

Examined hypothesized gender and comorbidity differences in the observed classroom behavior of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The behavior of 403 boys and 99 girls with ADHD, ages 7–10, was compared (a) to observed, sex-specific classroom behavior norms, (b) by sex, and (c) by comorbid subgroups. Boys and girls with ADHD deviated significantly from classroom norms on 15/16 and 13/16 categories, respectively. Compared to comparison girls, girls with ADHD had relatively high rates of verbal aggression to children. Boys with ADHD engaged in more rule-breaking and externalizing behaviors than did girls with ADHD, but the sexes did not differ on more “neutral,” unobtrusive behaviors. The sex differences are consistent with notions of why girls with ADHD are identified and referred later than boys. Contrary to hypothesis, the presence of comorbid anxiety disorder (ANX) was not associated with behavioral suppression; yet, as hypothesized, children with a comorbid disruptive behavior disorder (DBD) had higher rates of rule-breaking, and impulsive and aggressive behavior, than did children with ADHD alone and those with ADHD+ANX. Elevated rates of ADHD behaviors were also observed in children with comorbid DBD, indicating that these behaviors are truly present and suggesting that reports of higher ADHD ratings in this subgroup are not simply a consequence of negative halo effects and rater biases.

ADHD classroom observations behavior sex differences comorbidity 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard B. Abikoff
    • 1
  • Peter S. Jensen
    • 2
  • L. L. Eugene Arnold
    • 3
  • Betsy Hoza
    • 4
  • Lily Hechtman
    • 5
  • Simcha Pollack
    • 6
  • Diane Martin
    • 7
  • Jose Alvir
  • John S. March
    • 8
  • Stephen Hinshaw
    • 9
  • Benedetto Vitiello
    • 10
  • Jeffrey Newcorn
    • 11
  • Andrew Greiner
    • 12
  • Dennis P. Cantwell
  • C. Keith Conners
  • Glen Elliott
    • 13
  • Laurence L. Greenhill
  • Helena Kraemer
    • 14
  • William E. PelhamJr.
    • 15
  • Joanne B. Severe
  • James M. Swanson
    • 16
  • Karen Wells
  • Tim Wigal
  1. 1.New York University School of MedicineNew York
  2. 2.New York State Psychiatric InstituteColumbia UniversityNew York
  3. 3.Ohio State UniversityColumbus
  4. 4.Purdue UniversityLafayette
  5. 5.McGill University, Montreal Children's HospitalMontrealCanada
  6. 6.St. Johns UniversityQueens
  7. 7.Nassau Community CollegeGarden City
  8. 8.Duke University Medical CenterDurham
  9. 9.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyCalifornia
  10. 10.National Institute of Mental HealthRockville
  11. 11.Mount Sinai Medical CenterNew York
  12. 12.University of PittsburghPittsburgh
  13. 13.University of California, SanFranciscoCalifornia
  14. 14.Stanford UniversityPalo AltoCalifornia
  15. 15.State University of New YorkBuffalo
  16. 16.University of CaliforniaIrvineCalifornia

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