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Participants of “ADHD Outside the Laboratory” Study Coursework

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Updated: Jun 9th, 2022

The participants for this research project were very carefully chosen and sorted in the best possible way to ensure as much parity as possible. All the ADHD participants were recruited by a single pediatrician who tested all of them very thoroughly. The control group was matched for age, grade and cultural group and the records were checked for other attributes and to eliminate the possibility of undiagnosed ADHD or other learning disabilities. Girls were excluded after finding that there were too few for a viable group and also because girls simply do not play video games much, and this was a prime [art of the study. The only criticism which can be advanced against this selection is based on the nature of this type of study. The researchers actually did an excellent job in preparation for the study.

The participants were matched for age and grade, and they were all from the same locality and socio-economic group. Then they were all screened for basic IQ using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Vocabulary, Block Design, Similarities and Object Assembly were tested and only those with at least a score of 80 were accepted. Parents of the ADHD children completed an assessment chart in order to type the ADHD as closely as possible. Principals and consulting psychologists confirmed that those in the control group had no problems during the past two years.

The participants in the testing group and those in the control group were matched for age within 6 months, for IQ within 15 points and finally for performance on the tasks of the study. Boys who did not complete the tasks were excluded and any for whom there was no appropriate match were excluded. In this way, while no overall comparison can be made for large generalities, individual and small group comparisons from this study are invaluable to research on ADHD and cognitive functioning. By matching for all possible variables which affect cognitive functioning, the variables were minimized in order to aid in achieving quantifiable results. The more variation there is in subjects, the harder it is to group them for quantification.

It would be hard to improve upon the plan used for creating the groups for this study. Perhaps a larger sample would have more meaningful results, but that is probably true of every study. However, the only way to use larger groups would have been to go outside the local area, and then we again have the problem of matching for the socio-economic group. Therefore, even with a huge expansion of this study, the final results would only be quantifiable for smaller groups. However, if it were possible to expand this study group and the matching control, one might learn a great deal by matching results and looking for parallels.

Another interesting possibility would be to conduct this study using only children with no learning disabilities and to also include other groups with varying learning disabilities. ADHD, being primarily a problem of sustaining attention and maintaining focus on tasks is only one disability that might be aided by the use of video games and exercises such as the Zoo navigation exercise. These two activities provided more than a way to measure differences in cognitive function. They are also useful tools for teaching, though that study has yet to be completed for these groups. It would be an interesting expansion to study these two activities as teaching tools and to document progress, or lack thereof, over time.

I could not find any way to improve the method of selection and matching for this study. I also found no fault with the criteria or the methods for measuring cognitive function. What I suggest, however, is that the two primary tasks may, indeed, be actually excellent teaching tools, especially for ADHD boys. Any activity which encourages a child to focus longer than usual should be valuable for teaching, especially with ADHD students. I believe this area should be explored.

References

Lawrence, Vivienne; Houghton, Stephen; Tannock, Rosemary; Douglas, Graham; et al. 2002.

ADHD outside the laboratory: Boys’ executive function performance on tasks i…

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 2002; ProQuest Social Science Journals.pg. 447.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Participants of "ADHD Outside the Laboratory" Study." June 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/participants-of-adhd-outside-the-laboratory-study/.

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