Trouble in Traffic: Kids with ADHD Have Difficulty Crossing Streets
Children withِ attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) haveِ more trouble avoiding traffic whenِ crossing streets thanِ otherِ children, a newِ study suggests.
Researchers fromِ the University ofِ Alabama atِ Birmingham usedِ a computer-generated street intersection toِ seeِ ifِ 39 children, ages 7 toِ 10 withِ ADHD crossed theِ street lessِ safely thanِ 39 ADHD-free kids.
We expected thatِ the kids withِ ADHD maybeِ weren’t displaying theِ appropriate curbside behaviors, saidِ study co-author Despina Stavrinos, anِ assistant professor atِ the University ofِ Alabama atِ Birmingham Injury Control Research Center.
Close to getting hit
When isِ the nextِ car coming though.
The kids inِ the study wereِ beingِ treated atِ three local clinics, andِ had beenِ diagnosed withِ clinical ADHD.
The children stopped takingِ ADHD medication atِ least 24 hours beforeِ the trials.
Differences in decision-making
The difference isِ decision-making, Stavrinos said.
The kids withِ ADHD seemedِ to beِ acquiring allِ the sameِ information asِ the controls, butِ were lessِ effective atِ processing thatِ information.
This brain function, called executive function, hasِ beenِ defined asِ a core deficit inِ ADHD, Stavrinos said.
ADHD really is a disorder of executive function, Barkley said. We already knew that.
Barkley explained thatِ executive dysfunction inِ people withِ ADHD oftenِ affects self-awareness, inhibition, working memory, self-motivation andِ emotional self-control.
Also, people withِ ADHD haveِ anِ awareness ofِ time, butِ have trouble applying time toِ theirِ ownِ behavior.
They start toِ cross theِ street andِ they haveِ ten seconds, butِ they act likeِ they haveِ allِ the time inِ the world, Barkley said.
In theِ future, Stavrinos hopes toِ conduct a similar test withِ children whileِ they’reِ takingِ ADHD medication toِ seeِ ifِ their street-crossing behavior isِ anyِ safer.
She’d alsoِ like toِ follow theِ children intoِ adulthood toِ study whetherِ theyِ becomeِ risky drivers..