Patterns of Friendship Among Girls with and Without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
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Examined patterns of friendship participation, stability, and quality among previously unfamiliar, ethnically diverse girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n = 140) and comparison (n = 88) girls, aged 6–12 years, who attended 5-week naturalistic summer camps. Each girl completed sociometric nominations during Weeks 1, 3, and 5 of the camps; friendships were indexed by examining patterns of reciprocal nominations. At each assessment point, girls with ADHD had fewer mutual friends and were more likely to have no friends. Girls with Combined-type ADHD exhibited difficulties maintaining friendships from the beginning to middle of camp, whereas girls with Inattentive-type ADHD demonstrated poor friendship stability from the middle to end of camp. In general, girls with ADHD had higher levels of negative relationship features—including conflict and relational aggression—than did comparison girls, but levels of positive relationship features did not differ across subgroups. Friendship status predicted positive and negative peer regard, controlling for Verbal IQ and diagnostic status. Overall, although girls with ADHD were able to make friends to some extent, they differed from comparison girls in terms of the likelihood of doing so, the ability to maintain the friendships that they did form, and the levels of negative features found in their friendships.
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