A social relations analysis of interpersonal perception among children with ADHD and comparison peers: The positive illusory bias revisited
Walker, Kathryn Sarah
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There is a growing literature documenting that children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) self-enhance ratings of their own competence in social, behavioral, and academic areas (termed the Positive Illusory Bias). However, few studies of this effect have made use of the peer perspective, which, in areas of social functioning, may be particularly valuable. Moreover, most studies in this area have used discrepancy scores to measure accuracy or bias in perception, a procedure that has some limitations. This study sought to examine differences between clinic-referred children with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in interpersonal perception (self, other- and meta-perception) on social status (liking and perceived popularity), indices of aggression, (physical and relational aggression) and peer-valued characteristics (athleticism, humor). This research contrasted the conventional non-componential methods of discrepancy scores with indices derived from Kenny's Social Relations Model (1994), which partitions perceptions into components, and then estimates the variance of these components. Analyses were conducted on self and peer ratings collected from 106 children with ADHD and 48 matched control children who attended a Summer Treatment Program at the Center for Children and Families at the University at Buffalo. Results demonstrated positive illusory biases in children with ADHD whether measured non-componentially or componentially, and showed that for children with ADHD, positive illusory bias predicted less peer social preference over time. The potential protective or risk effects of positive illusory bias are highlighted, and treatment implications at the individual and group levels are discussed.