The attributions of children with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder for their problem behaviors

J Atten Disord. 2003 Apr;6(3):99-109. doi: 10.1177/108705470300600302.


This study investigated the attributions children with ADHD make about their most problematic symptoms. Children were interviewed to determine the degree to which they felt their behavior was controllable, stable, global, and stigmatizing; and about the locus of the cause of their behavior. Participants were 16 children with ADHD (10 boys, 6 girls), and 16 children without ADHD (9 boys, 7 girls), ages 7 to 13. The present study demonstrated that children with ADHD viewed their most problematic behaviors as less within their control and more global across situations than children without ADHD. Children with ADHD were more likely than children without ADHD to view their most problematic behavior as always having been present, but were no more likely to view their most problematic behavior as persisting into the future. No significant group differences emerged on the locus of causality dimension. With regards to stigmatization, girls without ADHD reported that their behaviors can bother their teachers, parents, and peers, whereas girls and boys with ADHD did not perceive their behavior as bothersome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Concept
  • Stereotyping
  • Surveys and Questionnaires