BACKGROUND: Social and emotional deficits were recently considered as inherent features of individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but only sporadic literature data exist on emotion recognition in adolescents with ADHD. The aim of the present study was to establish emotion recognition profile in adolescent boys with ADHD in comparison with control adolescents. METHODS: Forty-four adolescent boys (13-16 years) participated in the study after informed consent; 22 boys had a clinical diagnosis of ADHD, while data were also assessed from 22 adolescent control boys matched for age and Raven IQ. Parent- and self-reported behavioral characteristics were assessed by the means of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The recognition of six basic emotions was evaluated by the ‘Facial Expressions of Emotion-Stimuli and Tests.’ RESULTS: Compared to controls, adolescents with ADHD were more sensitive in the recognition of disgust and, worse in the recognition of fear and showed a tendency for impaired recognition of sadness. Hyperactivity measures showed an inverse correlation with fear recognition. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that adolescent boys with ADHD have alterations in the recognition of specific emotions.