Semester of Graduation

Fall 2018

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

With the growing prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children (DSM-5, 2013), it has been established that the ability of these children to sustain attention is marked with difficulty (Barkley, 2006). Prior research has addressed the need to increase sustained attention in children with ADHD, however, not all of the promising methods take into consideration that children with ADHD have difficulty ignoring distractions (Rapport et al., 2009). This is problematic because the typical classroom environment is filled with distractions. The current study attempted to fill this research gap by training participants to sustain attention while systematically introducing distractions in order to increase sustained attention within the school context. Three, second grade boys with ADHD symptoms participated in a multiple baseline study assessing for on-task behavior with three phases: Baseline with alternating sessions of video distractions absent and video distractions present, Attention Training without distractions, and Attention Training with distractions. In addition, the study assessed for the generalization of training to the classroom setting. Results showed that participants were able to increase their percentage of on-task intervals from baseline to training sessions, but the magnitude of the gains was inconsistent across participants and generalization to the classroom. The implications of these results are discussed within the context of a need for further research on sustained attention training that carries over to the natural classroom setting.

Date

10-20-2018

Committee Chair

Noell, George

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