This comparative study concerned students' perceptions of social support behaviors exhibited by significant adults and peers at school. A total of 29 teachers and 94 boys, in Grades 3 through 6, and their parents participated in the project from seven schools in three school districts in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Approximately half of the boys (n = 48) displayed significant levels of behaviors characteristic of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ([ADHD] characteristics group). The remaining boys (n = 46) were randomly chosen from classrooms and did not display characteristics of ADHD (comparison group). Information on students' academic performance, social skills, self-concept, and problem behaviors was assessed via rating scales completed by the students and their respective parents and teachers. Brief questionnaires developed by the authors were used to also collect perceptions of social support from the teachers and parents. The data from these rating scales indicated that children with characteristics of ADHD, when compared with a control group, perceived lower frequencies of overall social support. Children with more severe ADHD-type behaviors perceived less overall social support and less support from classmates and close friends. Both the ADHD characteristics group and comparison group perceived the importance of social support similarly; social support was moderately and significantly correlated with self-concept and student-reported positive social skill behaviors; and students' perceptions of social support were moderately related to parents' and teachers' perceptions of the frequency of social support they make available. These results are discussed and their implications for future research and practice are outlined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology