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NEWS | June 7, 2017

Peer group intervention can encourage inclusion of kids with ADHD

Expert shares insight at UC Davis MIND Institute lecture

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

Amori Mikami, associate professor and clinical psychologist at the University of British Columbia, will speak about ways to increase inclusion of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in peer groups at a free public lecture June 14 at 4:30 p.m. at the UC Davis MIND Institute, 2825 50th St. in Sacramento.

Amori Mikami Amori Mikami

In her lecture, “Intervening with the Peer Group to Treat Social Problems of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),” Mikami will discuss ways to encourage inclusion of children with ADHD. She noted that while most interventions for peer problems focus on trying to increase social skills in children with ADHD, it’s also important to encourage the peer group to be inclusive, tolerant, patient and welcoming of children with ADHD.

“Many children with ADHD have problems making and keeping friends, and these problems with their peers can lead them to feel lonely, dislike school and get involved in delinquency or substance abuse,” Mikami said. “Instead of talking only about what we can do to help children with ADHD so that peers will like them, we should also be talking about how we can work with peer groups so they’re more welcoming and have less stigma about ADHD.”

Mikami said she hopes her research will help children be more empathetic toward others.

“I hope these approaches can eventually be applied to helping peer groups be more inclusive of children who are different for a variety of reasons, such as mental health conditions (not limited to ADHD), cultural background or socioeconomic status.”

Mikami is the latest speaker in the 14th season of the UC Davis MIND Institute Distinguished Lecturer Series, which features nationally and internationally recognized researchers, authors and advocates in areas such as autism spectrum disorder, fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. A question-and-answer session will immediately follow the lecture.

Mikami is an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, where her research focuses on peer relationships among children and adolescents. Her studies aim to uncover innovative ways for parents and teachers to encourage children’s friendships and improve social relationships for children with ADHD.

Mikami earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from University of California, Berkeley and her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in psychology from Stanford University. She completed a child clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, San Francisco. Mikami is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar, and has research projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Institute for Education Sciences.

The UC Davis MIND Institute is a collaborative international research center committed to the awareness, understanding, prevention, care and cures of neurodevelopmental disorders. For more information on the Distinguished Lecture Series please visit mindinstitute.ucdavis.edu.

To interview Amori Mikami, contact Dorsey Griffith at 916-734-9118 or email her at dgriffith@ucdavis.edu.