Psychostimulant medication and perceived intensity in hyperactive children Academic Article uri icon


  • Adult ratings of children's activity, based on impressionistic scales, are good indicators of psychostimulant medication effects. These ratings seldom correlate with objective indicators, however, and their behavioral referents are poorly understood. Two separate studies tested the hypothesis that intensity of child behavior, as perceived by others, would differentiate medicated and unmedicated states. College student subjects assessed randomized videotaped segments of children's behaviors. The perceived intensity of hyperactive children's responses decreased with medication. while there were no medication-related changes in either gross motor locomotion of off-task behaviors. In a test for observer sensitization or expectancy, the results for subjects who were looking for medication effects did not differ from those for uninformed subjects.

author list (cited authors)

  • Henker, B., Astor-Dubin, L., & Varni, J. W.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Henker, B||Astor-Dubin, L||Varni, JW

publication date

  • March 1986