Studies of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have typically found elevated levels of slow wave activity in their EEGs, but in two of our previous studies, a small subset of ADHD children with excess beta activity in the EEG was identified. The aim of this study was to determine whether children with excess beta activity represent a distinct electrophysiological subtype of ADHD, to quantify the differences in their EEGs, and to determine if this group of children with ADHD have behavioural profiles different from other children with ADHD. Results indicated that children with excess beta represent a small independent subset of children diagnosed with ADHD, which primarily consists of children with a diagnosis of ADHD combined type. Behaviourally, this group was similar to other children with ADHD, although the excess-beta group were more prone to temper tantrums and to be moody. The excess in beta activity was found primarily in the frontal regions and may be associated with frontal lobe self-regulation and inhibition control. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.