Responding to Interpersonal and Physically Provoking Situations in Classrooms: Emotional intensity in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A. Carroll, Stephen Houghton, Myra Taylor, F. Hemingway, M. List-Kerz, Robin Cordin, Graham Douglas

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The present research investigated the emotional functioning of children with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), in order to examine the relationships between emotional intensity and classroom‐based responses to physically and interpersonally provoking situations. Seventy children (35 with ADHD and 35 without ADHD) in Years 3–8 participated and were matched on age, gender, grade, and school class. Each child was observed individually in the classroom over two 20‐min periods. The Responses to Interpersonal and Physically Provoking Situations Observation Schedule was used to record the frequency and severity of responses and the triggers for these during the observational periods. Children later rated their emotional intensity in response to hypothetical scenarios on the Emotional Intensity Scale for Children. Results revealed children with ADHD displayed significantly more frequent and severe challenging and solitary off‐task behaviours, and significantly more frequent vocalisations and severe interactional off‐task behaviours. For triggers, environmental and teacher‐initiated distractions were significantly more frequently observed in children with ADHD. There were no differences in ratings of emotional intensity between children with and without ADHD, although a number of significant and meaningful correlations were observed between positive emotional intensity scores and responses and triggers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-227
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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