ADHD, Fidgeting and Improved Performance

19th August, 2015

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The Journal of Abnormal Psychology published research to determine if hyperactivity with ADHD is a deficit or a compensatory behavior.  The researchers compared the working memory (WM) performance and attention in boys aged 8–12 years  with ADHD (n = 29) and typically developing children (TD; n = 23).  Each child’s phonological WM and attentive behavior was evaluated during four counterbalanced WM tasks during four separate sessions. The data was then sequenced hierarchically based on behavioral observations of each child’s gross motor activity during each task.
The results indicated the following:

  1. higher rates of activity level predicted significantly better, but not normalized WM performance for children with ADHD.
  2. higher rates of activity level predicted somewhat lower WM performance for TD children
  3. variations in movement did not predict changes in attention for either group.

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