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Self -perceptions and attributions in ADHD children: The role of gender, ADHD subtype and internalizing symptoms

Authors
Publisher
Purdue University
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Psychology
  • Clinical

Abstract

This study examined the effects of gender, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) subtype, and comorbid internalizing symptoms on children's self-perceptions and attributions. Participants included 38 ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type children (IA), 59 children classified as either ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Type or ADHD, Combined Type (HICB), and 83 non-impaired control children (CTL). Participants completed the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC), two attribution questionnaires, the Children's Depression Inventory Short Form, and the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children-10. With regard to absolute levels of self-perceptions, HICB children reported self-perceptions that were not significantly different from those of CTL children on 5 of the 6 subscales of the SPPC. In contrast, IA children reported self-perceptions that were significantly lower than those of CTL children on 4 of the 6 subscales of the SPPC. IA children also reported significantly lower perceptions of scholastic competence than did HICB children. With regard to children's self-perceptions of scholastic competence relative to teacher perceptions and actual achievement level, HICB children overestimated their scholastic competence significantly more than did CTL children. IA children did not differ from either HICB or CTL children with regard to self-perceptions as compared to a criterion. Furthermore, IA children attributed success to their own ability to a significantly lesser degree than did HICB and CTL children, and attributed failure to their own ability to a significantly greater degree than did CTL children. Finally, regression analyses indicated that hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention were significant predictors of children's self-perceptions and attributions. Betas indicated that more severe hyperactivity/unpulsivity was associated with positive illusory self-perceptions and self-serving attributions, whereas more severe inattention was associated with self-derogatory self-perceptions and attributions. Taken together, these results support the presence of a positive illusory bias in HICB children, and a self-derogatory bias in IA children, as compared to CTL children. Girls reported significantly higher self-perceptions than did boys in the behavioral conduct domain. Support was found for the moderating effects of internalizing symptoms on the relationship between ADHD symptomatology and children's attributions. ^

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