Don’t Think I’m not Paying Attention; I’m just Being Creative: The Effect of Creative Challenge in Math tasks for Children with ADHD.
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ADHD and creativity have a lot of the same characteristics. Whether children with the characteristics of ADHD obtain higher results on creative math tasks in comparison with their results on general math tasks and compared to the results of a non-ADHD control group is examined. A sample of 319 primary school children between the age of 7 and 12, 76 children with characteristics of ADHD and 243 children without these characteristics, were examined on mathematical creativity and mathematical ability. Mathematical creativity is measured with the Utrechtse Creatieve Rekentaak, a multiple solution task, and scored on fluency, originality and flexibility. Mathematical ability is measured with the Cito test, a standard test battery most used in Dutch primary schools for monitoring, math development, reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Results showed that children without ADHD characteristics score higher of both creative- and general math tasks than children with ADHD characteristics. Within group analysis showed that children with ADHD characteristics scored higher on general math tasks than on creative tasks, and children without scored better on creative tasks than on the general tasks. Against all expectations, this could not be concluded for children with ADHD characteristics. Together, these findings suggest that when children without ADHD characteristics are creatively challenged in mathematics, that they obtain better results in math.