Examined how and what children think under conditions of automatic and controlled processing within the context of social problem solving. In a condition that elicited automatic processing, hyperactive-aggressive children did not differ in being able to identify the components of a problem or in the number of solutions generated to solve a problem, but were more aggressive in the types of solutions generated, as compared to nonhyperactive-nonaggressive children. Furthermore, in a condition eliciting controlled processing, hyperactive-aggressive children did not differ in identifying problem components, generating solutions, or in anticipating outcomes for solutions, but were less able to anticipate consequences, and were more aggressive in choosing a best solution to solve a problem, as compared to nonhyperactive-nonaggressive children. The study demonstrated a relation between problem-solving codes that discriminated between groups, and overall child adjustment. Implications for social problem-solving interventions are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH-46584,a warded to Gerald J. August. We thank the three anonymous reviewers, Thomas Ollendick, John Lochman, and Lauren Braswell, who provided useful critiques of this study and earlier drafts of this manuscript. Requests for reprints should be sent to Michael L. Bloomquist, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic, P.O. Box 95 Mayo Building, 420 Delaware Street Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55455.