Perceptions of risk among children with and without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2009 Dec;16(4):189-96. doi: 10.1080/17457300903306914.


Traditionally, health professionals have positioned injury prevention strategies from their own perspective with little acknowledgement or understanding of the perspective of those who experience risk taking: specific populations of children with differing approaches to risk perception and problem-solving. The present study addresses this oversight by engaging children with and without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to explore the meaning of risk from their perspective. Although both groups of children reported similar processes of assessing risk, unique to children with ADHD was the overestimation of their physical abilities, intentional risk taking and anticipation of positive or no consequences of their risk taking. These findings also advance our knowledge of potentially appropriate strategies to effect change in risk taking that could influence risk of injury. Specifically, findings suggest that prevention efforts that incorporate both cognitive and social interventions are the most promising approaches. Integrating this understanding of children's perception of risk builds our knowledge about the contribution of risk perception to injury events and may help to inform future injury prevention initiatives with children with ADHD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Risk*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Self Concept
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology