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01-06-2010 | Uitgave 2/2010

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 2/2010

Social Cognition and Interpersonal Impairment in Young Adolescents with ADHD

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 2/2010
Margaret H. Sibley, Steven W. Evans, Zewelanji N. Serpell


The purpose of this study is twofold. First, it aims to examine whether the impairment in peer functioning and social-cognitive deficits (i.e., hostile attribution bias, social comprehension, social problem-solving) found in elementary school aged children with ADHD also occur in adolescence. Second, it aims to provide evidence for a predictive relationship between these social-cognitive deficits and an adolescent’s functional impairment in the social domain. To address these aims, several social-cognitive tasks were administered to a small sample of young adolescents with ADHD (N = 27) and a comparison sample without an ADHD diagnosis (N = 18). Parent report of functional impairment and peer sociometric data were also gathered. Comparisons of both parent and peer report of adolescent social functioning suggest that individuals with ADHD continue to experience difficulties with peers into the adolescent years and data from the social-cognitive tasks show evidence of social comprehension and problem-solving deficits. Further analyses indicated a significant link between functional impairment and social cognition. Findings herein are discussed in the context of both the developmental changes that arise during adolescence and consideration of the importance of social cognition for understanding the impaired social functioning experienced by adolescents with ADHD.

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