Facial emotion recognition in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Introduction. There are difficulties in relationships that are attributed to a commitment in facial emotions recognition skills in subjects with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The studies carried out did not always take into account the nature of the stimulus selected in pediatrics, which is important because the familiarity in faces, in terms of their physiognomic characteristics, makes it easier the recognition of the expressions.
Aim. To identify the profile of recognition of emotions in pediatric subjects with ADHD, using as a stimulus photos of boys and girls.
Subjects and methods. Analytical cross-sectional study of cases and controls. We analyzed the results obtained from 54 participants between 7 and 13 years divided into two groups: 26 in control group and 28 in ADHD group. They conducted an assessment with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V), Conners’ Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II), and Child Affective Facial Expression set (CAFE).
Results. The ADHD group showed a lower performance in recognition of emotions in general, with greater difficulty in the recognition of anger, surprise and neutral expression in particular. No relationship was found between the recognition of emotions and age, sex, total intelligence quotient or CPT-II care variables.
Conclusions. The subjects with ADHD present deficits in the recognition of emotions, especially in the recognition of anger, surprise and neutral expression, which could explain the difficulties in the interaction and that should be treated within the therapeutic framework.
Key words. ADHD. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Emotions. Neuropsychology. Pediatrics.