Emotion Recognition and Social Behaviors in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
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The current study evaluated emotion recognition, social behaviors, autonomic activity, and eye gaze in 33 children with ADHD relative to 34 typically developing children between the ages of 7 and 12. The relations among these measures were also explored. It was found that children with ADHD made significantly more errors in recognizing anger and disgust than typically developing children. The results did not indicate differences in response times (i.e., latency to detect emotions), although children with ADHD qualitatively appeared to be slower than typically developing children in recognizing anger and disgust. These results suggest that the observed emotion recognition deficits in ADHD children are unlikely due to more impulsive response patterns. No significant relationship was found between visual scanning of faces (i.e., attention to the appropriate cues on the face) and the accuracy of emotion recognition. As expected, children with ADHD had more problem behaviors and social skills deficits, some of which were significantly related to the accuracy of emotion recognition. Groups did not differ on autonomic activity and eye gaze.
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