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01-08-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2013

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 4/2013

Physical Aggression, Diagnostic Presentation, and Executive Functioning in Inpatient Adolescents Diagnosed with Mood Disorders

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 4/2013
Auteurs:
Karen Holler, Brian Kavanaugh

Abstract

While a relationship has been identified between physical aggression and executive functioning within the adult population, this relationship has not yet been consistently examined in the adolescent population. This study examined the association between physical aggression towards others, self-reported depressive symptoms, and executive functioning within an adolescent inpatient sample diagnosed with a mood disorder. This study consisted of a retrospective chart review of 105 adolescent inpatients (ages 13–19) that received a diagnosis of a mood disorder (excluding Bipolar Disorder). Participants were grouped based on history of aggression towards others, resulting in a mood disorder with physically aggressive symptoms group (n = 49) and a mood disorder without physically aggressive symptoms group (n = 56). Ten scores on various measures of executive functioning were grouped into five executive functioning subdomains: Problem Solving/Planning, Cognitive Flexibility/Set Shifting, Response Inhibition/Interference Control, Fluency, and Working Memory/Simple Attention. Results from analyses of covariance indicated that there were no significant differences (p < .01) between aggression groups on any executive functioning subdomains. Correlation analyses (p < .01) indicated a negative correlation between disruptive behavior disorders and response inhibition/interference control, while anxiety disorders were negatively correlated with problem solving/planning. These findings provide important information regarding the presence of executive dysfunction in adolescent psychiatric conditions, and the specific executive subdomains that are implicated.

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