Attentional focus of students with hyperactivity during a word-search task

Sydney S. Zentall, Arlene M. Hall, David L. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Mirrors have been used to focus attention to aspects of the self (e.g., to known strategies, standards). We hypothesized that this could be important for students with hyperactivity/inattention, who typically direct attention outward to external novelty. In this study, we administered a partially solvable word puzzle to 43 middle school students, with and without hyperactivity/inattention, in the presence and absence of a mirror, counterbalanced for condition and form order. Differences between students with hyperactivity/inattention and comparisons in accuracy were found only in the no mirror condition. Furthermore, the beneficial effect of the mirror for children with hyperactivity/inattention was most pronounced for those who looked at the mirror. Findings were interpreted in terms of their potential to remedy the production deficits of these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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