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01-11-2014 | Uitgave 8/2014

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 8/2014

Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Peer Functioning: a Transactional Model of Development

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 8/2014
Wan-Ling Tseng, Yoshito Kawabata, Susan Shur-Fen Gau, Nicki R. Crick


The goals of this short-term longitudinal study were to investigate differential, independent effects of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity on children’s peer relationships and the dynamic, transactional interplay between ADHD symptoms and indices of peer functioning over time. This study used a community sample that included 739 preadolescents (239 fourth graders and 500 fifth graders; 52.23 % boys) from northern Taiwan, who were assessed every six months at three time points. Children’s ADHD symptoms were measured using the parent report on the Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham, version IV scale. Positive and negative facets of peer functioning, including peer rejection, peer acceptance, and the number of friendships, were assessed via peer nomination. Results of cross-lagged models indicated that inattention, but not hyperactivity/impulsivity, predicted subsequent peer impairment (i.e., lower peer acceptance and fewer dyadic friendships). Findings also showed a vicious cycle in which inattentive symptoms predicted later peer impairment, which in turn led to increases in both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. These findings did not differ across gender, and the majority of the findings remained significant even after controlling for age and physical aggression. Taken together, this study demonstrated the detrimental effect of inattention on children’s peer functioning and the transactional and dynamic interplay between inattention and peer impairment in a Chinese culture.

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