Exploring the relationship between physical activity and the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.




Smith, Nicole Eleanor Irene

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Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is described by the broadly defined symptoms, attention-deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Characterized as the most common diagnosed developmental disorder in childhood, pharmacological interventions have been the most studied and used forms of treatment. Given that the alleviating effects of medication are not universal. researchers have considered other adjuvant therapies. Physical activity is one intervention that has received limited attention. but has been suggested. The purpose of this study was to extend the limited research by the following: (1) provide evidence for the prevalence of physical activity in ADHD children, as well as determine the prevalence of physical activity therapeutic practices, (2) explore the relationship between physical activity and ADHD symptoms, and determine which specific ADHD symptom(s) physical activity may affect most, and (3) identify any moderators of the physical activity and ADHD symptom relationship. Participants included 101 parents, mostly from Canada, who currently have a child with diagnosed ADHD and were recruited through collaboration with the Learning Disabilities Association - South Vancouver Island Chapter by mail and through ADHD online internet parent forums. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire pertaining to their child's medical history, behavioral symptoms, physical activity behaviors and practices, and parent socio-demographics. Results indicate that 76% of the sample did not meet Canadian national recommended physical activity guidelines, and 52% of the sample does not use physical activity as a therapy.



hyperactivity, children, physical activity, therapy