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The impact of instructional context on classroom on-task behavior: A matched comparison of children with ADHD and non-ADHD classmates

The impact of instructional context on classroom on-task behavior: A matched comparison of children with ADHD and non-ADHD classmates
The impact of instructional context on classroom on-task behavior: A matched comparison of children with ADHD and non-ADHD classmates
Classroom inattentiveness is an important reason for clinical referral of children with ADHD and a strong predictor of their educational achievement. This study investigates classroom on-task behavior of Flemish children with ADHD withdrawn from medication as a function of instructional context. Thirty-one pairs of children (one with ADHD and one age- and sex-matched control; 25 boys and 6 girls 6 to 12 years of age) were observed in their classroom environment during two consecutive school days. On-task behavior (time on-task and on-task span) of ADHD and non-ADHD individuals was compared in different class contexts (i.e., different class structures and academic content types). Individualized teacher supervision was simultaneously assessed. Generalized estimation equation analyses showed that children with ADHD were significantly less on-task than controls during individual work and whole class group teaching, but not during small group work, and had significantly shorter on-task span during academic tasks (mathematics, language, and sciences) and instructional transitions between tasks, but not during music and arts. These effects persisted even after controlling for the higher levels of teacher supervision observed for ADHD pupils (7%) across all contexts (vs. 4% in controls). Findings suggest that despite receiving more overall teacher supervision, children with ADHD displayed lower levels of on-task behavior in settings that place high self-regulatory, information processing, and motivational demands on them. This finding may have initial implications for classroom interventions in this population.
ADHD, attention, on-task behavior, class observation, situational variability, teacher supervision
0022-4405
487-498
Imeraj, Lindita
5ce0f8c2-08f0-4762-9793-b25f0fcdd42e
Antrop, Inge
74299648-d0ef-495f-a1aa-375e4252bf6a
Sonuga-Barke, Edmund
bc80bf95-6cf9-4c76-a09d-eaaf0b717635
Deboutte, Dirk
676ba8d3-176a-478e-b7ea-b455ab9e4283
Deschepper, Ellen
7520bae8-f9b9-466f-97a1-37cfda156a2a
Bal, Sarah
5c9d9aa3-3324-465d-b1e6-7ee78c29ebbb
Roeyers, Herbert
3554b6b3-e364-4a6a-9e8b-64f5188a6d60
Imeraj, Lindita
5ce0f8c2-08f0-4762-9793-b25f0fcdd42e
Antrop, Inge
74299648-d0ef-495f-a1aa-375e4252bf6a
Sonuga-Barke, Edmund
bc80bf95-6cf9-4c76-a09d-eaaf0b717635
Deboutte, Dirk
676ba8d3-176a-478e-b7ea-b455ab9e4283
Deschepper, Ellen
7520bae8-f9b9-466f-97a1-37cfda156a2a
Bal, Sarah
5c9d9aa3-3324-465d-b1e6-7ee78c29ebbb
Roeyers, Herbert
3554b6b3-e364-4a6a-9e8b-64f5188a6d60

Imeraj, Lindita, Antrop, Inge, Sonuga-Barke, Edmund, Deboutte, Dirk, Deschepper, Ellen, Bal, Sarah and Roeyers, Herbert (2013) The impact of instructional context on classroom on-task behavior: A matched comparison of children with ADHD and non-ADHD classmates. Journal of School Psychology, 51 (4), 487-498. (doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2013.05.004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Classroom inattentiveness is an important reason for clinical referral of children with ADHD and a strong predictor of their educational achievement. This study investigates classroom on-task behavior of Flemish children with ADHD withdrawn from medication as a function of instructional context. Thirty-one pairs of children (one with ADHD and one age- and sex-matched control; 25 boys and 6 girls 6 to 12 years of age) were observed in their classroom environment during two consecutive school days. On-task behavior (time on-task and on-task span) of ADHD and non-ADHD individuals was compared in different class contexts (i.e., different class structures and academic content types). Individualized teacher supervision was simultaneously assessed. Generalized estimation equation analyses showed that children with ADHD were significantly less on-task than controls during individual work and whole class group teaching, but not during small group work, and had significantly shorter on-task span during academic tasks (mathematics, language, and sciences) and instructional transitions between tasks, but not during music and arts. These effects persisted even after controlling for the higher levels of teacher supervision observed for ADHD pupils (7%) across all contexts (vs. 4% in controls). Findings suggest that despite receiving more overall teacher supervision, children with ADHD displayed lower levels of on-task behavior in settings that place high self-regulatory, information processing, and motivational demands on them. This finding may have initial implications for classroom interventions in this population.

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More information

Published date: August 2013
Keywords: ADHD, attention, on-task behavior, class observation, situational variability, teacher supervision
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 354829
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/354829
ISSN: 0022-4405
PURE UUID: 90419bde-2e6c-4bfe-b1d5-a5760c9e893c

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Jul 2013 09:15
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:28

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