Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in School Psychology


School Psychology



First Advisor

Gary Stoner


Electronic media use by children and adolescents is growing each year. From 2004 to 2009, electronic daily media exposure increased from six hours and twentyone minutes to seven hours and thirty-eight minutes. The ubiquity of electronic media among youth is apparent in our technology-driven culture; however, more research on video gaming patterns and characteristics of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities is warranted - specifically, individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As of 2011, the number of children and adolescents with ADHD in schools represents 6.4 million in the USA. Given that ADHD is a prevalent disability in children and adolescents, there is a need to be able to effectively discern the most time and cost effective interventions for youth with ADHD, including those that are electronically mediated. Thus, this study examines parent-reported video game use among children and adolescents with ADHD collected from a clinical sample, and compares their rates of use with previously reported data from national samples. Parents completed the Children’s Use of Video Games and Digital Media, comprised of 13 questions that assessed ADHD type characteristics expressed during activities, duration spent across different activities, parent involvement, perceptions, and parent use of video games. The present study found that only weekend/vacation days video game play for youth with ADHD was reported by parents as more frequent than video game play among the national sample reported by Rideout and colleagues. Male youth statistically played more video games than female youth, and the only statistical age difference was found among 11-14 year-old children/adolescents and 5-7 year-old children, with older children/adolescents playing more video games. The majority of parents in the present sample endorsed that their children demonstrated fewer ADHD behaviors during video game play (i.e., less inattention, hyperactivity, and disorganization). In conclusion, the variability of video game and media use indicate potential areas to capitalize on teachable moments for ADHD youth while in the home. Findings from this study are expected to inform future research and practice with children with ADHD, particularly in the areas of effective parenting, intervention development, and the use of technology-based learning strategies.



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