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.
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