Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disordered and control boys' responses to social success and failure

Betsy Hoza, Daniel A. Waschbusch, William E. Pelham, Brooke S.G. Molina, Richard Milich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


The behavioral, self-evaluative, and attributional responses of 120 boys with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and 65 control boys to social success and failure were examined using a dyadic, laboratory get-acquainted task employing child confederates. Objective coders rated boys with ADHD as less socially effective than controls in their interactions, but also as less frustrated and helpless. In terms of self-evaluations, ADHD boys overwhelmingly rated their own performance more favorably than did controls and in some instances, these differences were more apparent following failure. The attributional pattern of ADHD and control boys differed in that ADHD boys were more likely than controls to attribute success to external, uncontrollable factors such as task ease and being lucky; controls, on the other hand, were more likely than ADHD boys to attribute initial failure to not having tried hard enough. Results are discussed in the context of existing literature documenting a positive illusory bias in ADHD boys' self-perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-446
Number of pages15
JournalChild development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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