How do children with and without ADHD talk about frustration?: Use of a novel emotion narrative recall task

  • Nicholas D. Fogleman
  • Kirsten D. Leaberry
  • Paul J. Rosen
  • Danielle M. Walerius
  • Kelly Slaughter
Original Article


Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience difficulties related to emotional reactivity and regulation. The current study examines differences in the emotional reactivity and regulation of children with and without ADHD in the context of their real-life experiences of negative emotion using a novel ecologically valid methodology. Eighty-three 8–12-year-old children (46 ADHD, 38 non-ADHD) participated in the study. Children completed the negative emotion narrative recall task, a novel task whereby children provided a narrative recall of a real-life event where they experienced negative emotion. ANCOVA indicated children with ADHD recalled significantly more overall frustration and intense frustration than children without ADHD. Children with ADHD exhibiting more negative emotional reactivity while recalling negative emotions than children without ADHD. The current study suggests that children with ADHD are uniquely impacted by negative emotional experiences and represents an important step in understanding the emotional reactivity and regulation of children with ADHD.


ADHD Emotion Emotion regulation Frustration Emotional reactivity 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas D. Fogleman
    • 1
  • Kirsten D. Leaberry
    • 1
  • Paul J. Rosen
    • 1
  • Danielle M. Walerius
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kelly Slaughter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Nationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA

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