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Stimulation Seeking and Hyperactivity in Children with ADHD

  • Inge Antrop (a1), Herbert Roeyers (a1), Paulette Van Oost (a1) and Ann Buysse (a1)
    • Published online: 01 February 2000

Thirty hyperactive and 30 non-hyperactive children were confronted with a delay, consisting of a waiting situation of 15 minutes, either with or without extra stimulation provided by the presentation of a videotape. The behaviour of the child during the waiting period was videotaped and later coded by two naive observers. In line with theories that emphasise the stimulation-seeking function of hyperactive behaviours, such as the optimal stimulation account and the delay aversion theory, a group by stimulation effect was hypothesised. For two categories of activity this was found, with ADHD children displaying more activity than non-ADHD children in the no-stimulation but not in the stimulation condition. These data provide support for the stimulation-seeking function of certain features of ADHD hyperactivity.

Corresponding author
Requests for reprints to: Inge Antrop, University of Ghent, Department of Clinical Psychology, H. Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium (E-mail:
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The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
  • ISSN: 0021-9630
  • EISSN: 1469-7610
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-psychology-and-psychiatry-and-allied-disciplines
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