Self-Esteem Evaluation in Children and Adolescents Suffering from ADHD

Luigi Mazzone1, * , Valentina Postorino1, Laura Reale2, Manuela Guarnera2, Valeria Mannino2, Marco Armando1, Laura Fatta1, Lavinia De Peppo1 , Stefano Vicari1
1 Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Neuroscience, I.R.C.C.S. Children Hospital Bambino Gesu', Rome, Italy
2 Division of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, Department of Pediatrics, University of Catania, Italy

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© Mazzone et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Neuroscience, I.R.C.C.S. Children Hospital Bambino Gesu', Piazza S. Onofrio,4, 00165, Rome, Italy; Tel: 0668592734; Fax: 0668592450; E-mail:



Several recent studies investigated the relationship between self-esteem and ADHD, however, the results are still controversial. In the present study we analyze the characteristics of self-esteem in a sample of children and adolescents suffering from ADHD, with a particular focus on the relationship between ADHD symptoms severity and treatment strategies.


A total of 85 patients with ADHD (44 drug-free and 41 drug-treated, 23 of which atomoxetine-treated and 18 Methylphenidate-treated) and 26 healthy controls were enrolled in the study in order to evaluate self-esteem using the Self-esteem Multidimensional Test (TMA).


ADHD subjects revealed lower scores on all self-esteem domains compared to controls. Both ADHD drug-free (47.1%) and ADHD drug-treated (44.1%) groups showed significantly higher rates of subjects in the pathological range as compared to normal control group (8.8%) (p <.001) with a higher percentage of subjects in the pathological range. Among ADHD drug-treated subjects, the methylphenidate group showed higher self-esteem scores as compared to the atomoxetine group.


A lower self-esteem profile is more common in subjects suffering from ADHD than in healthy controls, suggesting the importance of an early detection of psychological well-being in these children in order to reduce the ADHD symptoms long-term impacts.

Keywords: Adolescents, ADHD, Atomoxetine, Children, Methylphenidate, Self-esteem.