Crossing Environment Tied to Pedestrian Injury Rates in ADHD

Children with ADHD-combined type chose riskier pedestrian environment to cross street

TUESDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder combined type (ADHD-C) show appropriate pedestrian behavior on the curb but choose riskier pedestrian environments to cross the street, according to a study published online July 25 in Pediatrics.

Despina Stavrinos, Ph.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues investigated the differences in pedestrian behavior in children with ADHD-C compared to normally developing children, and the mediating factors that might associate ADHD-C with pedestrian injury risk in 78 children (aged 7 to 10 years). Of the participants, 39 had a diagnosis of ADHD-C and 39 were age- and gender-matched typically developing children. The main outcome measure was pedestrian behavior, assessed in an interactive virtual pedestrian environment; key variables related to crossing behavior were evaluating the crossing environment, deciding to cross and initiating movement, and safety within the pedestrian environment after deciding to cross.

The investigators found that children with ADHD-C chose less safe pedestrian environments to cross. There were no significant differences seen for other features of the crossing process. Executive function mediated the correlation between ADHD-C and the overall safety of crossing the street.

"Children with ADHD-C seem to display appropriate curbside pedestrian behavior but fail to process perceived information adequately to permit crossing safely," the authors write.

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