Effects of environmental stimulation on students demonstrating behaviors related to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A review of the literature

Brooks R. Vostal, David L. Lee, Faith Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Behaviors characteristic of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often interfere with students' and their classmates' learning, and interventions targeting these behaviors may be particularly important in schools. This article reviews studies in which researchers manipulated environmental stimulation during task presentation with school-age students displaying symptoms of ADHD. Using optimal stimulation theory (Zentall, 1975; Leuba, 1955) as a theoretical framework, studies were examined to determine the tasks, intensity, dependent variables, and stimulation topography. Results indicated that the impact of visual stimulation on academic tasks has been the most frequently examined phenomenon in studies meeting inclusion criteria. Stimulation typically improved academic productivity and reduced nonacademic activity; novel stimuli produced initial effects that attenuated during sessions. Implications for intervention and future research directions are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Special Education
Volume28
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 6 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation

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