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Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2009 Mar;40(1):111-21. doi: 10.1007/s10578-008-0114-9. Epub 2008 Jul 29.

Emotion understanding in children with ADHD.

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Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Sainte Marguerite Hospital, Mediterranean Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences, CNRS, UMR 6193, Marseille, France.


Several studies suggest that children with ADHD tend to perform worse than typically developing children on emotion recognition tasks. However, most of these studies have focused on the recognition of facial expression, while there is evidence that context plays a major role on emotion perception. This study aims at further investigating emotion processing in children with ADHD, by assessing not only facial emotion recognition (Experiment 1) but also emotion recognition on the basis of contextual cues (Experiment 2). Twenty-seven children and adolescents with ADHD were compared to age-matched typically developing controls. Importantly, findings of this study show that emotion-processing difficulties in children with ADHD extend beyond facial emotion and also affect the recognition of emotions on the basis of contextual information. Our data thus indicate that children with ADHD have an overall emotion-processing deficit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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