Creative thinking in adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Child Neuropsychol. 2006 Apr;12(2):111-23. doi: 10.1080/09297040500320691.


A widened attentional focus, that is typically associated with ADHD, has been postulated to be accompanied by enhanced creative ability. However, creativity has been only limitedly examined in ADHD. Performance across several creativity measures were investigated in three groups: adolescents with ADHD, those with conduct disorder, and a healthy control sample. The ADHD group exhibited selective cognitive advantages and disadvantages by demonstrating an enhanced ability in overcoming the constraining influence of examples, but a reduced capacity to generate a functional invention during an imagery task. These findings are interpreted with reference to inhibitory control mechanisms and the contextual modulation of creative cognition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Child
  • Creativity*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thinking*