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27-06-2016 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2017

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 3/2017

Neuropsychological Functioning and Attachment Representations in Early School Age as Predictors of ADHD Symptoms in Late Adolescence

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 3/2017
Auteurs:
Raziye Salari, Gunilla Bohlin, Ann-Margret Rydell, Lisa B. Thorell

Abstract

This study aimed to examine relations between parent and child attachment representations and neuropsychological functions at age 8, as well as relations between these constructs and ADHD symptoms over a 10-year period. A community-based sample of 105 children (52 boys) participated. Measures of attachment representations and a range of neuropsychological functions were collected at age 8. Parents rated emotion dysregulation and ADHD symptoms at age 8 and ADHD symptoms again at age 18. Significant, although modest, relations were found between disorganized attachment and some aspects of neuropsychological functioning in childhood. When studying outcomes in late adolescence and controlling for early ADHD symptom levels, spatial working memory and disorganized attachment remained significant in relation to both ADHD symptom domains, and one measure of inhibition remained significant for hyperactivity/impulsivity. When examining independent effects, spatial working memory and disorganized attachment were related to inattention, whereas spatial working memory and dysregulation of happiness/exuberance were related to hyperactivity/impulsivity. Our findings showing that disorganized attachment is longitudinally related to ADHD symptoms over and above the influence of both neuropsychological functioning and early ADHD symptom levels highlights the importance of including measures of attachment representations when trying to understand the development of ADHD symptoms. If replicated in more “at-risk” samples, these findings could also suggest that parent–child attachment should be taken into consideration when children are referred for assessment and treatment of ADHD.

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