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20-06-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2020

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 1/2020

Reactive Aggression and Suicidal Behaviors in Children Receiving Outpatient Psychological Services: The Moderating Role of Hyperactivity and Inattention

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 1/2020
Auteurs:
Madelaine R. Abel, Jonathan L. Poquiz, Paula J. Fite, Rachel L. Doyle
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Abstract

The current study examines associations between reactive and proactive aggression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors among youth (N = 115, 62% male), ranging from 6 to 12 years, seeking services in an outpatient psychological clinic. Symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention were evaluated as potential moderators of this link. Children and a caregiver completed self- and parent-report questionnaires on aggression, suicidal behaviors, depressive symptoms, and ADHD-related behaviors during intake. Reactive aggression was more strongly linked to suicidal thoughts and behaviors than proactive aggression. Further, hyperactivity/impulsivity, but not inattention, moderated the association between reactive aggression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, such that reactive aggression was only associated with suicidal behaviors at high levels of hyperactivity/impulsivity. These findings were evident for reactive, not proactive, aggression and when accounting for the variance associated with depressive symptoms, age, and gender. Hyperactivity/impulsivity is discussed as a potentially important target among reactively aggressive youth for prevention of suicidal behaviors.

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