Contribution of a virtual magic camp to enhancing self-esteem in children with ADHD: A pilot study

Academic Article


  • Background Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been reported to experience low self-esteem. Magic, a performing art, when used therapeutically, has been shown to enhance self-esteem in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. However, there is a paucity of evaluation studies using this intervention applied to children with ADHD. Purpose This single-group study aims to describe the effectiveness of a virtual summer magic camp program to enhance self-esteem in children and adolescents with ADHD. Method Six children with ADHD, age 8.6-14.3 years, who participated in a virtual magic camp program for children with disabilities, were included in this study. The camp met 3 days a week, about 45 min to an hour each session, over four consecutive weeks for a total of 9 to 12 hours. Participants completed the assessments before the beginning of the camp and post-camp. In addition, participants and their parents were individually interviewed to explore their camp experience at the post-camp data point. Results A Wilcoxon signed-rank test indicated that the median ranks of the self-esteem scores at post-magic camp, median=21.5, were significantly higher than the median ranks of the self-esteem scores at baseline, median=19.5, with z=2.23, p=.026. The effect size of the virtual magic camp on self-esteem was .64, which is considered moderate. Findings were validated by the participants describing gains in self-esteem after participation in the magic camp and by the parents’ statements regarding the positive impact on their child’s psychological well-being. Discussion This study supported the hypothesis that children with ADHD who participated in a four-week virtual magic camp experienced enhanced self-esteem. Future studies should investigate the holistic impact of magic camps on children and adolescents with ADHD and include measures that tap into other psychosocial attributes such as social functioning, social skills, and self-efficacy.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yuen HK; Spencer K; Kirklin K; Edwards L; Jenkins GR
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 1