Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Home and school; Reading -- Parent participation;


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is an occurring disorder which · affects about one child in every elementary classroom. Children with ADHD are at risk for having poor peer relations. Research has shown that over SO¾ of children with ADHD have poor peer relations. Studies of various interventions with children who have ADHD and poor peer relationships have yielded mixed results. Psychopharmacological therapy has shown no positive effect on peer interactions. Behavioral interventions; behavior therapy and medication; cognitive-behavioral therapy; and cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication have all found favorable results, although not many combination treatments have been examined for their impact on peer relations of children with ADHD. There is little research available on the degree to which peer-mediated interventions help improve peer relations of children with ADHD. Using the Circle of Friends intervention, an intact class of 22 third grade students participated in six sessions to determine if children's attitudes toward children with disabilities and children with ADHD characteristics would become more positive due to the intervention. The control group, which did not participate in the intervention, consisted of a portion of an intact class of 12 third grade students. The Attitudes Toward Disabilities Survey (ATD) and the Attitudes Toward ADHD Characteristics Survey (ATA) were developed for this study as a means of specifically measuring attitudes toward children with disabilities and children with ADHD characteristics. These new scales were found to have good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha= .69 (ATD) and .80 (ATA)). It was found that the intervention did not significantly impact children's attitudes toward children with disabilities or children with ADI-ID characteristics. This failure to find treatment effects could have arisen from inadequate sample size, unequal number of subjects in the two groups, poorly designed sessions, unknown classroom differences, or an insufficient treatment period. When choosing peer-mediated interventions to implement, school psychologists need to carefully research what interventions are effective. Circle of Friends is popular within elementary schools. However, more research is needed on this intervention before school psychologists should place much faith in its efficacy as an intervention to help children with ADI-ID increase their peer relations.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Melissa Heston


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