ADHD Behaviors in Different Settings | Online Assignment Help

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Saymara Clauss

MPSY 5050

Writing in Psychology – 21

September 20, 2018

The purpose of this research study was to gain more knowledge about children with ADHD and their behavior. The researchers Van den Berg and Van den Berg (2011) stated that the aim of this present research was to gain more insight into the behavior and emotional and cognitive functioning of children with ADHD in a natural and built setting. (p.1) They, Van den Berg, and Van den Berg (2011) also believed that the children’s disconnection from nature may have consequences in their healthy development and wellbeing. (p.1) Previous research is what leads them into doing this study on children. They also wanted to see if the research done by others prior to them would match. This research was not done in the United States, it took place Zeeland, the Netherlands. Even though some things were restricted they were hoping for the same outcome as previous researches.

They studied twelve children ages nine to seventeen all the children except for one had been diagnosed with ADHD. (p.2) The child who did not have the ADHD diagnosis did have ADD. The children all said that they enjoyed outside activities in non-natural settings like the school park or outdoors in the city. Out of the group of twelve, only one of them had gone to natural settings occasionally. They divide them into two groups, the first group was all boys the youngest child was eleven and the oldest fourteen. This group was placed on a large farm with a large indoor area. Only two children in this group did not take medicine for their disorder. The second group had four boys and two girls ages nine to seventeen all the children in this group was on medication. This farm was smaller with livestock, it was more of a country setting.

The researchers collected background information from the children by using a questionnaire given to them when they arrived at the farms. They asked questions to find out if the child preferred indoor activities like playing in an indoor play hall or outdoor activities like camping. The questioners were answered using color coded panels because of the children’s attention span. Van den Berg and Van den Berg (2011) stated the children took mood test, concentration test, and observed the interactions the children had with each other. (p. 5) They observed the groups in a natural setting and then taking them to town. The examiners conducted the test after each activity was completed. The children were observed by the researcher themselves so they did not have to depend on answers from parents like prior studies.

The first group was taken to the woods in the morning on the second day of observation. The group did not want to go at first, but when they arrived they got more comfortable with each other. While they were there the examiners had them build a cabin as a group project and answer questions. Van den Berg and Van den Berg (2011) note that all the children showed great behavior and scored high on their concentration test. (p. 6) The next day they took the same group to the city for observation. Again, none of the children wanted to go on the outing. and showed it by their behaviors when they arrived in city. They stated that from the start of the day the children complained about having to go to town. (p. 6) Most of the children did not answer questions, or follow instructions. One of the boys showed aggressiveness and anger, he also walked away a couple of times. When they got back to the farm the examiners had to bribe them with ice cream to answer questions. Even with ice cream, the children could not handle answering the questions. When it was group two’s turn to go the woods none of the children protested going. When they arrived in the woods, they did the same group activity as the first group. They all got joined in as team building the cabin and seemed to have no problems getting along with each other. The only problem they had was two girls being afraid of spiders. When they activity was over they all came together to answer the questions with no objections. None of the usual symptoms of ADHD was shown. When they took group two to the city they could definitely tell the difference from group one. The whole group was eager to go, and made sure they were dressed nice for the occasion. When they arrived, the children were eager to start the came so they really did not listen to instructions well. Van den Berg and Van den Berg noted that there was one act of aggression, and the social behavior was little. (p.7) Even though they acted better than group one, their ADHD symptoms were still noticeable.

After both groups were evaluated the researchers noticed the difference between the settings. Van den Berg and Van den Berg (2011) stated that group one did well in the woods, but when they went to the city setting the children’s symptoms seemed to be a lot more noticeable. (p. 7) They also said that group two did well in both settings there was not as many behavior problems in both settings. (p. 7) The research shows the group two done better because of the environment was a natural setting. There were some limitations on this study that affected some of the results. The researchers requested that none of the children take their medicine for a week, but that request could not be met. The groups were also set up different which made the results come out different.

The findings of this research showed that when children ADHD are placed in a natural setting they showed less symptoms. They believe that the findings are important because of the increasing demand for alternative treatment from parents and professionals who are uncomfortable with use of long term medicines. (p. 8) Van den Berg and Van den Berg article says that they believe these findings are important because there is an increasing demand for alternative complementary treatment of ADHD from parent and professionals who are uncomfortable with the prospect of long-term use of pharmacologic treatment. The research done does show many important points, but cannot fully be correct.


Van den Berg, A., & Van den Berg, C. (2011). A comparison of children with ADHD in a natural and built setting. Child: Care, Health, and Development, (3), 430

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