The Effects of Auditory Stimulation on the Arithmetic Performance of Children with ADHD and Nondisabled Children
This study evaluated the impact of extra-task stimulation on the academic task performance of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Twenty boys with ADHD and 20 nondisabled boys worked on an arithmetic task during high stimulation (music), low stimulation (speech), and no stimulation (silence). The music “distractors' were individualized for each child, and the arithmetic problems were at each child's ability level. A significant Group x Condition interaction was found for number of correct answers. Specifically, the nondisabled youngsters performed similarly under all three auditory conditions. In contrast, the children with ADHD did significantly better under the music condition than speech or silence conditions. However, a significant Group x Order interaction indicated that arithmetic performance was enhanced only for those children with ADHD who received music as the first condition. The facilitative effects of salient auditory stimulation on the arithmetic performance of the children with ADHD provide some support for the underarousal/optimal stimulation theory of ADHD.