Recognition of facial expressions of emotion by children with Attention- Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Subhashni D. Singh, Cynthia R. Ellis, Alan S.W. Winton, Nirbhay N. Singh, Jin Pang Leung, Donald P. Oswald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Fifty children and adolescents were tested for their ability to recognize the 6 basic facial expressions of emotion depicted in Ekman and Friesen's normed photographs. Subjects were presented with sets of 6 photographs of faces, each portraying a different basic emotion, and stories portraying those emotions were read to them. After each story, the subject was asked to point to the photograph in the set that depicted the emotion described. Overall, the children correctly identified the emotions on 74% of the presentations. The highest level of accuracy in recognition was for happiness, followed by sadness, with fear being the emotional expression that was mistaken most often. When compared to studies of children in the general population, children with ADHD have deficits in their ability to accurately recognize facial expressions of emotion. These findings have important implications for the remediation of social skill deficits commonly seen in children with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-142
Number of pages15
JournalBehavior Modification
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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