Behavioral Distinctions in Children With Reading Disabilities and/or ADHD

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1996 Nov;35(11):1477-84. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199611000-00016.


Objective: To investigate behavioral distinctions between children with reading disabilities (RD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Method: A four-group mixed design consisting of children with reading disabilities only (RD only), reading disabilities and ADHD (RD/ADHD), ADHD only, and a comparison group was used. Differences between parent reports, from age 5 to 15 years, and teacher reports, from age 5 to 13 years, were examined on measures of hyperactive and antisocial behaviors.

Results: The analyses indicated that, at home, children from the ADHD only and RD/ADHD groups exhibited significantly more hyperactive behaviors than children from the RD only and comparison groups. At school, children from the RD only, ADHD only, and RD/ADHD groups typically exhibited significantly more hyperactive and antisocial behaviors than children from the comparison group. With regard to antisocial behaviors, children from the RD/ADHD group exhibited significantly more antisocial behaviors than children from any other group.

Conclusions: The results of the study indicate that children from these groups may exhibit either a "pervasive" or "situational" presentation of behavioral problems, a finding which suggests that in conducting an evaluation of ADHD it is important to obtain both parent and teacher reports of problem behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Dyslexia / diagnosis*
  • Dyslexia / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment