Facial Emotion Recognition and Social Functioning in Children  With and Without Attention-Deficit Hy...
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Facial Emotion Recognition and Social Functioning in Children With and Without Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Marissa Reynolds The Pennsylvania State University Thesis Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Huang-Pollock. Results. Results. Introduction. Testing Hypothesis 3.

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Marissa Reynolds The Pennsylvania State University Thesis Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Huang-Pollock

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Marissa reynolds the pennsylvania state university thesis advisor dr cynthia huang pollock

Facial Emotion Recognition and Social Functioning in Children With and Without Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Marissa Reynolds

The Pennsylvania State University

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Cynthia Huang-Pollock

Results

Results

Introduction

Testing Hypothesis 3

Testing Hypothesis 1

  • ADHD

    • Issues with attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity

    • Affects all areas of functioning and can persist into adulthood

    • Symptom severity varies by age and gender

  • Social Competence

    • Strong predictor of prognosis for children with ADHD

    • Difficulty with social cues & peer relations (ie. victimization)

  • Facial Emotion Recognition

    • More difficulty in identifying emotions, especially sadness & anger

    • Currently unclear if emotion recognition deficits are related to social competence deficits

Controls displayed significantly faster reaction times to and

greater accuracy in identifying happy and sad faces.

There were no significant results of emotion recognition measures

upon ratings of social skills and peer relations.

Correlations between scores on PSSRS, TPRS and POFA Measures

One Way ANOVA of POFA Measures by ADHD Status

Hypotheses

Note: PSSRS = Parent Social Skills Rating Scale, TPRS = Teacher Peer Relations Scale, POFA = Pictures of Facial Affect, RT = Reaction Time

** = Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

*= Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

There will be a main effect of ADHD status on measures of facial emotion recognition

Males and younger participants will have poorer performance on measures of facial emotion recognition than females and older participants

Poorer performance on measures of facial emotion recognition will be correlated with greater social functioning and peer relation issues

Discussion

Note:  POFA = Pictures of Facial Affect; RT = Reaction Time

  • Hypothesis 1

    • Significant differences for happy and sad faces, but not for scared and angry faces

    • Previous research indicates that children with ADHD have less success in identifying sadness, fear and anger

    • Future research should seek a consensus as to which particular facial emotions are difficult for children with ADHD to identify

  • Hypothesis 2

    • Gender did not have a significant influence on facial emotion recognition

    • The effects of age are most likely due to the tendency of younger children to experience more severe ADHD symptoms

    • Future research should seek to determine if this is a common problem among younger children, the potential consequences, and the necessity of interventions

  • Hypothesis 3

    • No significant correlations were found between measures of emotion recognition and parents’ and teachers’ ratings of social functioning and peer relations

    • Does not replicate results of study by Kats-Gold, Besser, & Priel, 2007

    • Lack of consistency may be the result of differences in participant demographics

  • Limitations

    • Limited Generalizability – small sample size and lack of diversity

    • Disgust and surprise were not measured

    • Results cannot compare performance of children with ADHD on Emotion Recognition Task while on medication versus off medication

Results

Methods

Testing Hypothesis 2

There were no significant results of gender.

Younger children displayed slower reaction times to happy and sad faces.

192 participants ages 8-12 completed the Emotion Recognition Task

INDEPENDENT VARIABLES:

 ADHD or Control status (Hypothesis 1)

 Gender (Hypothesis 2)

 Age (Hypothesis 2)

 Reaction time to and accuracy in identifying happy, sad, scared and angry faces from the Emotion Recognition Task (Hypothesis 3)

DEPENDENT VARIABLES:

 Reaction time to and accuracy in identifying happy, sad, scared and angry faces from the Emotion Recognition Task (Hypotheses 1 and 2)

 Parent Social Skills Rating Scale – PSSRS (Hypothesis 3)

 Teacher Peer Relations Scale – TPRS (Hypothesis 3)

Correlations between Participant’s Age and POFA Measures

POFA = Pictures of Facial Affect, RT = Reaction Time** = Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)

* = Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).


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