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Mindi Fisher, Ryan Tierney, Anne Russ and Jamie Mansell

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other learning difficulties (LD) are neurocognitive disorders that can occur individually or concurrently. 1 Those who suffer from LD commonly experience dyslexia or dyscalculia. 1 , 2 ADHD has a prevalence rate of 5.3% worldwide and is the most

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William J. Harvey, Greg Reid, Gordon A. Bloom, Kerri Staples, Natalie Grizenko, Valentin Mbekou, Marina Ter-Stepanian and Ridha Joober

Physical activity experiences of 12 age-matched boys with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were explored by converging information from Test of Gross Motor Development-2 assessments and semistructured interviews. The knowledge-based approach and the inhibitory model of executive functions, a combined theoretical lens, enabled the description of similarities and differences in experiences that emerged during interviews. Skill assessments indicated boys with ADHD were not as proficient movers as their peers without ADHD. Thematic analysis revealed that boys with ADHD reported playing with friends, paid little attention to detail, possessed superficial knowledge about movement skills, and expressed many negative feelings about physical activity. Task-specific interventions and a wider range of mixed methods research are recommended for future research studies in ADHD.

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Scott J. Pedersen, Paul R. Surburg, Matthew Heath and David M. Koceja

The purpose was to investigate central and peripheral processing mechanisms through the use of electromyography (EMG) to determine differences between the performance of children with and without ADHD on a lower extremity choice response time task. Sixteen children with ADHD were tested on and off medication along with 19 children without ADHD. For premotor time, the comparison group performed significantly faster than children with ADHD. The longer latencies exhibited in central processing of children with ADHD were related to midline crossing inhibition (MCI). Medication improved the speed of processing for children with ADHD, but did not negate MCI.

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Anthony D. Mahon, Megan E. Woodruff, Mary P. Horn, Andrea D. Marjerrison and Andrew S. Cole

The effect of stimulant medication use by children with attention deficit/hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) on the rating of perceived exertion (RPE)—heart rate (HR) relationship was examined. Children with ADHD (n = 20; 11.3 ± 1.8 yrs) and children without ADHD (n = 25; 11.2 ± 2.1 yrs) were studied. Children with ADHD were examined while on their usual dose of medication on the day of study. HR and RPE, using the OMNI RPE scale, were assessed during a graded exercise to peak voluntary effort. The RPE-HR relationship was determined individually and the intercept and slope responses were compared between groups. The intercept was 132.4 ± 19.5 bpm for children with ADHD and 120.6 ± 15.7 bpm for children without ADHD. The slope was 7.3 ± 1.9 bpm/RPE for the children with ADHD and 8.1 ± 1.6 bpm/RPE for the children without ADHD. For the group with ADHD the intercept and slope values fell outside of the 95% CI observed in the control group. The altered relationship between RPE and HR with stimulant medication use in children with ADHD has practical implications with respect to the use of HR and RPE to monitor exercise intensity.

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Homan Lee, Janice Causgrove Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to explore youth sport experiences of individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were 6 males (mean age = 22.7 yr) with ADHD who had played 3 or more seasons in team sports during adolescence. Following interpretive phenomenological analysis methodology, each participant completed 2 semistructured interviews. Findings showed that symptoms of ADHD hampered participants’ experiences and led to negative interpersonal and performance-related consequences. On the other hand, participants reported social and stress/energy-release benefits arising from their experiences in sport. Their experiences were therefore complex, and some findings relating to social interactions appeared contradictory (e.g., negative interpersonal experiences vs. social benefits). Supportive coaches, understanding teammates, and personal coping strategies were key factors that enabled participants to realize benefits and, to some degree, mitigate negative consequences associated with their participation in sport.

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Jeffrey B. Kreher

Edited by Verle Valentine

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Colleen N. Gulick

Edited by Joe J. Piccininni

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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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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.