Objective: Unintentional injury is the leading cause of pediatric mortality. One leading cause of unintentional injury is pedestrian injury. Children with developmental disabilities, particularly those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-combined type (ADHD-C) seem to have increased pedestrian injury risk. This study examined (1) the differences in pedestrian behavior between children with ADHD-C and normally developing comparison children and (2) the mediating factors that might link ADHD-C with pedestrian injury risk.
Patients and methods: A total of 78 children aged 7 to 10 years (39 children with ADHD-C diagnoses and 39 age- and gender-matched typically developing children) participated. The main outcome measure was pedestrian behavior, as measured in a semi-immersive, interactive, virtual pedestrian environment. Key pedestrian variables related to different aspects of the crossing process were identified: (1) before the cross (ie, evaluating aspects of the crossing environment); (2) making the cross (ie, deciding to cross and initiating movement); and (3) safety of the cross (ie, safety within the pedestrian environment after the decision to cross was made).
Results: Children with ADHD-C chose riskier pedestrian environments to cross within (F(1,72) = 4.83; P < .05). No significant differences emerged in other aspects of the crossing process. Executive function played a mediating role in the relationship between ADHD-C and the safety of the cross.
Conclusions: Children with ADHD-C seem to display appropriate curbside pedestrian behavior but fail to process perceived information adequately to permit crossing safely.