Objective: This study investigates how the academic skills of children diagnosed with ADHD are perceived by teachers, parents, and the children themselves.
Method: The authors analyze data collected for third graders in spring 2002 in the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey. They use linear regressions to estimate independent associations between perceptions of academic abilities and parent-reported ADHD diagnoses, controlling for scores on standardized reading and math tests, assessments of externalizing behaviors, and other factors.
Results: Results show that for ADHD-diagnosed girls compared to other girls, both parents' and teachers' perceptions are substantially more negative. For ADHD-diagnosed boys, the differentials are also negative but less pronounced. Self-perceptions are not significantly different by ADHD status, except for boys' more negative self-perceptions related to math.
Conclusion: Given the potentially damaging effects of these negative perceptions and expectations on self-esteem, motivation, and performance, efforts may be needed to bring perceptions of ADHD children more in line with the abilities they demonstrate on objective assessments. (J. of Att. Dis. 2007; 10(4) 390-397).