Hyperkinesis and Attentional Deficiencies

  • Stella Chess
  • Mahin Hassibi


The term attention deficit disorder (ADD) defines a cluster of clinically observable behavioral deviations among children, previously known as hyperkinetic impulse disorder, minimal brain damage, or cerebral dysfunction. The change in terminology is proposed by the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III; APA, 1980) on the basis of the assumption that disturbances of attention are of prime significance in the clinical pictures. Expressions of dissatisfaction by clinicians have already appeared in the literature regarding this assumption. Some authors have pointed out that attention as a neurophysiological construct includes such abilities as search and scanning, vigilance, concentration, attention span, and even freedom from distraction. Disturbance in one area may coexist with strength in other components of the attentional system (Gualtieri et al., 1983). Others have criticized the absence of the designated type in which hyperactivity is not associated with deficits in attention (Lynn et al., 1983; Silver, 1981).


Attention Deficit Disorder Attention Span Stimulant Drug Hyperactive Child Educational Task 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stella Chess
    • 1
  • Mahin Hassibi
    • 2
  1. 1.New York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.New York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA

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