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.