The goals of the present study were to (1) systematically examine aspects of peer functioning that are concurrently and longitudinally associated with ADHD symptoms; (2) investigate differential and independent effects of inattention and hyperactivity/ impulsivity on peer functioning; (3) examine potential mechanisms and processes involved; (4) study longitudinal effects of ADHD symptoms as well as the dynamic interplay between ADHD symptoms and their associated peer impairment over time; (5) explore potential risk and protective factors underlying the link between ADHD symptoms and peer problems; (6) explore the effect of gender; and (7) expand the current literature in this area of research to a non-Western culture (i.e., Taiwan). The sample of this study consisted of 739 preadolescents (239 fourth graders and 500 fifth graders) from northern Taiwan who participated in a short-term longitudinal study across three time points, six months apart. Overall, results indicated that inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity each showed unique and independent (both concurrent and longitudinal) associations with a variety of peer relationship problems. Moreover, each core domain of ADHD was associated with different patterns of social behaviors (i.e., relational aggression, physical aggression, prosocial behavior), conferring differential pathways and mechanisms underlying peer impairment. Findings also showed a vicious cycle in which ADHD symptoms predicted later peer impairment, which in turn lead to increases in ADHD symptoms. This study further revealed some potential protective factors (e.g., high levels of prosocial behavior and low levels of physical aggression, relational aggression, and depressive symptoms) that may buffer against peer dislike in youth with ADHD symptoms. In addition, ADHD symptoms may affect girls' peer functioning to a greater extent than boys'. Taken together, the present findings from a Taiwanese sample, in comparison to the Western literature, demonstrated both similarities and differences in the associations between children's ADHD symptoms and their peer functioning as well as the mechanisms and the effect of gender involved. Implications of the present findings are discussed from a developmental psychopathology perspective.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. November 2012. Major: Child Psychology. Advisor: Nicki R. Crick. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 145 pages, appendices A-B.
Peer relationships among children with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a developmental psychopathology perspective.
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