Background: Children with ADHD show deficits in executive function, as well as motor symptoms such as difficulties in gross and fine motor skills and gait stability. Texting while walking is becoming increasingly common and is a significant health risk among people of all ages. Research question: The objective of this work was to compare texting and walking performance between children with ADHD and controls and between two environments (indoors and outdoors), and evaluate the role of age and symptom severity in dual-task performance. Methods: Nineteen children with ADHD and 30 healthy children walked across an indoors corridor and an outdoors street, with and without texting on a mobile phone. Walking and texting performance were measured using inertial measurement units and a custom-made mobile app. Results: No between-group differences were found in texting or walking performance. Walking and texting were similar across environments. In both groups, older children had smaller dual-task performance deficits for both gait and texting speed. Children with ADHD who had more severe symptoms of hyperactivity had larger dual task costs for gait speed outdoors (r = 0.69, p = 0.002), and those with more motor symptoms typed faster under dual-task conditions indoors (r = 0.6, p = 0.007) but were less accurate (r = − 0.60, p = 0.009). Significance: Children with ADHD do not demonstrate deficits in dual-task performance of a texting and walking task indoors or outdoors. The relationship of age, hyperactivity and motor symptoms with texting and walking performance supports a more personalized approach for examination of dual-task performance in children with ADHD.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.
- Mobile phone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine