Date of Award

6-30-2016

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kate Flory

Abstract

Previous research has shown that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is associated with impaired social functioning in children and adolescents. ADHD and increased social impairment have proven to be separately correlated with increased anxiety and depression symptoms as well. However, little research has examined these specific associations and interactions among ADHD, social functioning, and internalizing symptoms. The current study aimed to examine the influence of ADHD symptoms and social functioning on anxiety and depression symptoms in 321 8- to 10- year-old children, and specifically, if social impairment moderated the relation between ADHD symptoms and anxiety and depression symptoms. Data on ADHD, social functioning, and anxiety and depression symptoms were collected via a multi-rater approach (i.e., parent, teacher, children’s self-reports as well as peer ratings from playgroups). Results indicated that increased ADHD symptoms were associated with increased anxiety and depression symptoms. Additionally, it was found that teacher-rated social impairment moderated the relation between ADHD symptoms and depression symptoms, such that ADHD symptoms were significantly related to depression symptoms only at average and high levels of social skills but were unrelated to depression symptoms at lower levels of social skills. Children with lower ADHD symptoms and higher social skills had the least depression symptoms, and interestingly, children with more ADHD symptoms and higher social skills had the most depression symptoms, which differs from the prediction that lower social skills would lead to more depression symptoms. The current study filled a gap in and addressed limitations of previous research, and these findings will hopefully be able to inform future interventions and treatments targeting children with ADHD.

Share

COinS