The effect of a province wide, school-based physical activity initiative on the behavioral symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequently diagnosed psychiatric disorders of childhood. Children with ADHD have a high rate of disciplinary problems in school, experience social and academic difficulties, and encompass 30 to 40 per cent of referrals to child guidance clinics. Given the frequent occurrence of ADHD and the issues associated with it, effective and appropriate treatment has become a critical issue. With the desire to provide a healthy and effective solution in treating the symptoms of ADHD, Nicole Smith’s study is exploring the effects that repeated physical activity may have on the symptoms of ADHD in a practical setting. Using a standardized ADHD questionnaire, parents and teachers will indicate the degree of influence a long-term, province-wide, school-based physical activity initiative has on the behavioural symptoms of children with ADHD while in their classroom and home environments. The primary goal of Nicole’s research is to evaluate the effect of school-based physical activity intervention on ADHD symptoms and classroom disruption among children ages 9 to 12 with ADHD. Since little research exists on the impact of exercise on the behavioural symptoms of ADHD in children, there is potential for this research to make a significant contribution in the areas of child mental health, ADHD health promotion and intervention.