ARE YOU MAD? An Analysis of Emotional Recognition in Young Adults with ADHD and Neurotypical Controls

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have shown decreased levels of facial emotion recognition skills compared to non-ADHD peers in previous studies. A majority of studies have examined these deficits in children. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if these deficits continued in young adults . The hypothesis for this study is that young adults diagnosed with ADHD, when compared to neurotypical controls later, will show deficits in facial emotion recognition. Researchers recruited ADHD and neurotypical controls Westfield State University students . Participants were presented images from Racially Diverse Affective Expression (RADIATE) face stimulus set, that showed people expressing various emotions. Participants were required to view the emotion being displayed and were scored on whether or not they could correctly identify the emotion out of the 19 images chosen and presented. Although, the ADHD group scored lower than the neurotypical group, there was no statistical significance. More research needs to be viewed on young adults with ADHD to better evaluate these deficits, specifically for this age group. One of the ways to recreate this study would be including more subjects within each group, so that the variability presented in this study for the ADHD group can be more contained. Another new factor could be including more well-defined operational definitions of each emotion to ensure that people had a more consistent way of identifying each image.