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Article
June 1983

A Naturalistic Assessment of the Motor Activity of Hyperactive BoysI. Comparison With Normal Controls

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Cerebral Metabolism (Dr Porrino) and the Unit on Childwood Mental Illness, Biological Psychiatry Branch (Drs Rapoport and Behar, Mr Sceery, and Ms Ismond), National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md; and the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Irvine (Dr Bunney).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(6):681-687. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.04390010091012
Abstract

• The motor activity of hyperactive and normal boys was studied in 12 age- and classroom-matched pairs. Activity was measured continuously for a one-week period with a portable solid-state monitor. Hyperactives exhibited generally higher levels of motor activity than normal controls regardless of the time of day, including during sleep and on weekends. In a situation-by-situation analysis, hyperactives were most consistently and significantly more active than the controls during structured school activities. Little evidence was found, however, to support the hypothesis that hyperactivity is simply an artifact of the structure and attentional demands of a given setting. Pervasive increases in simple motor behavior are a clear attribute of hyperactive behavior and distinguished hyperactives from controls as well as did a standardized measure of attention.

(Arch Gen Psychiatry 1983;40:681-687)

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