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Colleen N. Gulick

Edited by Joe J. Piccininni

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Timothy Martinson, Stephen A. Butterfield, Craig A. Mason, Shihfen Tu, Robert A. Lehnhard and Christopher J. Nightingale

systematically adjust to increased physiological demand. The PACER has been shown to be valid in predicting aerobic capacity in adolescents ( 7 , 20 ). Among adolescents, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequently diagnosed psychiatric disorders. Approximately 5% of all school

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Jason C. Immekus, Franklin Muntis and Daniela Terson de Paleville

, Taylor, & Rusby, 2001b ) were used to measure students’ behavior and academic skills. The scales are designed to assess nine dimensions of psychopathology and social and academic impairment in youth: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (16-items), Anxiety (6 items), Depression (7 items), ADHD Inattention (9 items

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Oliver Tucha and Klaus W. Lange

Adverse effects of drug therapy on handwriting fluency attributed to increased attentional control have been observed in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The writing performance of 8 children with ADHD was assessed using a digitizing tablet in a double-blind, placebo-controlled test. Participants wrote a phrase in cursive script both on and off stimulant medication writing normally, writing with eyes closed, and writing faster than normal. Medication reduced fluency of normal handwriting movements. When children with ADHD were instructed to write faster than normal or with eyes closed, however, more fluent and even automated movements resulted, even on medication. We also assessed 10 children with ADHD, 10 children without ADHD, 10 adults with ADHD, and 10 adults without ADHD. Participants with ADHD were assessed both on and off medication. Children with ADHD on medication were less fluent than children without ADHD. Without medication, Children with ADHD did not differ from children without ADHD; those on medication showed increased handwriting dysfluency. There was no significant difference between the adults. Both children and adults with ADHD could perform age-appropriate and automated handwriting movements. Children with ADHD on medication, however, gave more attention to the writing process, possibly hampering fluent handwriting movements.

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William J. Harvey and Greg Reid

The purpose of this study was to present a comprehensive review of research on the movement performance and physical fitness of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and offer research recommendations. Movement behaviors of children with ADHD were described on the basis of 49 empirical studies published between 1949 and 2002. Major results indicated that (a) children with ADHD are at risk for movement skill difficulties, (b) children with ADHD are at risk for poor levels of physical fitness, (c) comorbidity may exist between ADHD and developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and (d) few interventions have focused on movement performance and physical fitness of children with ADHD. Numerous reference citations for seminal review articles on ADHD are provided so that potential researchers or program planners might enter the vast ADHD literature with some ease.

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Jennifer Gapin and Jennifer L. Etnier

Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) consistently perform worse on executive function (EF) tasks relative to those without AD/HD. Physical activity has a small effect on cognition in children and may be particularly beneficial for children with AD/HD by impacting fundamental EF deficiencies that characterize this disorder. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which physical activity is associated with EF in children with AD/HD. Eighteen boys (M age = 10.61, SD = 1.50) with AD/HD were recruited to complete four EF tasks. Physical activity was measured with an accelerometer that provided daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity; this measure was a significant predictor of performance on the Tower of London planning task, adjusted R 2 = .28, F(1, 16) = 7.61, p < .05, and was positively associated with other EF measures. These results suggest that higher physical activity is associated with better EF performance in AD/HD children.

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Claudia Verret, Phillip Gardiner and Louise Béliveau

The purpose of this study was to assess fitness and gross motor performance of children with ADHD, including users and nonusers of methylphenidate medication. Seventy boys took part in the study. Fitness level of children with ADHD using medication or not, including body composition, flexibility, and muscular endurance, was similar to that of a control group. The only difference was observed for body mass index, which was lower in children with ADHD using medication. Aerobic capacity was also similar when measured by a treadmill test. A lower performance was observed when aerobic capacity was estimated using a field shuttle test, however, suggesting that the methodology used is important. Finally, both groups of children with ADHD presented significantly lower scores for locomotion skills.

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Robbi Beyer

The motor proficiency of 56 boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was compared with that of 56 boys with learning disabilities (LD); both groups were divided into two age groups, 7 to 8 years and 9 to 12 years. Boys with ADHD were taking Ritalin and attending public schools. Boys with LD were medication-free and attending private schools for LD. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency–Long Form (BOTMP–LF) was used to measure balance, bilateral coordination, strength, upper limb coordination, response speed, visual-motor coordination, and upper limb speed and dexterity. MANOVA revealed significant main effects for condition and age. Subsequent univariate ANOVAs revealed (a) expected age differences on all but one item and (b) significantly poorer performance for boys with ADHD than boys with LD on all variables except balance, upper limb coordination, and response speed.

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Scott J. Pedersen and Paul R. Surburg

This study investigated the movement preparation (reaction time) and movement execution (movement time) of children with and without ADHD by manipulating the uncertainty of occurrence. Participants performed a seated lower extremity choice response time protocol, which contained either 10% catch trials or 30% catch trials along with 27 empirical stimuli to one of three target directions. Results indicated that children with ADHD were significantly slower at processing lower extremity movements than their peers for the condition with increased number of catch trials, but not the condition with fewer catch trials. These findings suggest that children with ADHD are more affected by the uncertainty of an empirical stimulus during the preparation phase of a movement response than their age-matched peers are.

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William J. Harvey and Greg Reid

The purpose of this study was to describe the fundamental gross motor skills and fitness conditions of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nineteen children, ages 7 to 12, participated. Gross motor performance was measured by the Test of Gross Motor Development (Ulrich, 1985). Fitness variables were measured by selected items from the Canada Fitness Survey (Fitness Canada, 1985), the CAHPER Fitness-Performance II Test (CAHPER, 1980), and the 20 m Shuttle Run Test (Leger, Lambert, Goulet, Rowan, & Dinelle, 1984). Percentile scores provided individual and group profiles of performance. It was concluded that fundamental gross motor performance and physical fitness of children with ADHD are substantially below average.