Overestimation of Physical Abilities Among Boys With and Without ADHD

J Atten Disord. 2016 Feb;20(2):163-7. doi: 10.1177/1087054713496463. Epub 2013 Jul 23.


Objective: Children with ADHD have been widely reported to overestimate their abilities in social and academic domains, but a similar overestimation of physical abilities has not been examined.

Method: Twenty-four elementary school-age boys with ADHD and fifteen boys without ADHD were compared on their ability to accurately estimate their ability to complete four lab-based physical tasks, varying on three levels of difficulty: (a) within their ability, (b) 8% beyond their ability, and (c) 13% beyond their ability.

Results: Children with ADHD were significantly more likely than controls to overestimate their physical ability at difficult levels of the task.

Conclusion: Implications of these results for preventing risky behaviors in children with ADHD are discussed.

Keywords: ADHD; children; physical ability; positive illusory bias.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illusions*
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment
  • Risk-Taking
  • Self Concept*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Social Behavior*