THE EFFECTS OF ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER AND COMORBIDITY ON SOCIAL SKILLS DEFICITS

Open Access
Author:
Kanrich, Jaclyn
Area of Honors:
Psychology
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Cynthia Huang Pollock, Thesis Supervisor
Keywords:
  • ADHD
  • comorbidity
  • social skills
Abstract:
ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in children; a majority present with both a comorbid disorder, as well as social skills deficits and have poor relationships with peers. The aim of this present study was to determine whether or not the presence of comorbidity negatively affects social skills deficits over and above that of ADHD. METHODS. 32 children with ADHD and 26 non-ADHD controls were recruited for the study. A one-way ANOVA was first conducted to determine which dependent variables were significantly affected by ADHD. Then exploratory factor analyses were completed on relevant independent and dependent variables to justify the creation of summary variables. Finally, hierarchical regressions were completed using the summary variables, in which the dependent variable was social skills, the first step was a diagnosis of ADHD, and the second step was the presence of comorbidity. RESULTS. Parent and teacher report of the presence of comorbid externalizing and internalizing problems were significantly predictive of parent and teacher report of social skills over and above that accounted for by ADHD. However, when social skills were indexed by observational behavior on a computerized simulated Chat Room task, parent and teacher report of externalizing and internalizing problems did not add predictive value above that of ADHD. DISCUSSION. These results indicate that there may be an effect of comorbid disorders on social skills deficits above that of ADHD, but that results are dependent on how social skills are operationalized.