ADHD News & Research

Study: Children with ADHD and Strong Social Skills Feel More Resilient, Less Stressed

A recent study of personality factors in children with ADHD found that those with stronger social skills also exhibited a higher self-concept — rating themselves as more resilient, behaviorally competent, and more likely to demonstrate prosocial attitudes — than did children with weaker social skills.

March 10, 2021

Children with ADHD and stronger social skills exhibit greater self-esteem — reporting that they feel more resilient, demonstrate higher behavioral competence, and exhibit greater prosocial attitudes — than do children with lower social skills, according to a study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.1  While substantial research exists detailing the negative impacts of ADHD across multiple domains, little focus has been given to studying positive personality factors in children with ADHD — and this study aimed to do so by focusing on strength-based factors.

Participants included 64 children, aged 8-12 years, who had been diagnosed with ADHD. Children and their parents completed questionnaires related their social skills, resilience, and perceived strengths.

Results indicated that children with ADHD and high social skills believed they were significantly more resilient than did those with low social skills. Children with strong social skills also said they felt better equipped to handle stressful situations, were less susceptible to stress, and were better at relating to others. These children rated themselves to be more behaviorally competent than did those with weaker social skills. Children with stronger social skills responded that they were more likely to be honest with their friends and help others during a crisis.

These findings support the need for social skills training for children with ADHD who may see benefits beyond friendship — namely, stronger self-esteem, self-image, and resiliency.

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1 Hai T, Climie EA. Positive Child Personality Factors in Children with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders. March 2021. doi:10.1177/1087054721997562