Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Betsy Hoza

Second Advisor

Erin Shoulberg


There is a need to examine the utility of objective measures of hyperactivity/impulsivity (HI) as they relate to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors in children. Objective measures of HI behaviors may be able to shed some light on the discrepancies in cross-informant ratings of ADHD behaviors by teachers and parents. The most widely used and researched technique for objectively capturing children’s activity that may relate to HI behaviors is through accelerometry (i.e., the use of small devices that measure gravitational acceleration). This study examined the unique and interactive effects of mean levels of activity and intra-individual variability (IIV) in activity, as measured by accelerometry, on HI behaviors. One hundred-eighty early elementary school students (Mage = 6.83, SD = 0.95, 54% male) participating in a physical activity intervention study were included. Baseline assessments of parent- and teacher-reported HI behaviors and accelerometry during the intervention period were used. Results demonstrated that mean levels of activity were positively associated with HI behaviors, whereas IIV in activity was negatively associated with HI behaviors for teacher, but not parent, report of HI behaviors. Additionally, mean levels of activity and IIV in activity uniquely predicted teacher reported hyperactivity. Specifically, higher mean levels of activity were linked with higher hyperactive behaviors and higher IIV in activity was linked with lower hyperactive behaviors. Objective measures of activity through both mean levels of activity and IIV in activity may act as additional tools to better understand activity patterns that may be related to HI behaviors. Future research should continue to investigate the usability of objective measures of activity as a screener to identify children at risk for ADHD.



Number of Pages

46 p.

Available for download on Monday, June 30, 2025