Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Psychology

Sub-Department

College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Kate Flory

Abstract

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disorder first diagnosed in childhood that often persists into adulthood, is characterized by difficulty sustaining attention and controlling hyperactive and impulsive behaviors (Barkley & Murphy, 2006). ADHD is associated with impairment in numerous domains in both childhood (Hinshaw, 1992) and adulthood (Flory, Milich, Lynam, Leukefeld, & Clayton, 2003). Research suggests that temperament is associated with both ADHD and impairment (Martel, Gremillion, Roberts, Zastrow, & Tackett, 2014; Nigg, 2006), and the relation between ADHD and impairment is well established (Johnston & Mash, 2001). However, there has been very little research examining the relations among ADHD, temperament, and impairment together (De Pauw & Mervielde, 2011). The current study addresses this issue by investigating dimensions of temperament [surgency, negative affectivity (NA), and effortful control (EC)] as moderators of the relation between ADHD and impairment across multiple settings in a sample of children ages 8-10. We hypothesized that ADHD, surgency, and NA would be positively related to parent and teacher reported impairment, and that EC would be negatively related. We also hypothesized that the relations between ADHD and impairment would be stronger for individuals who were rated higher on surgency and NA and lower on EC

Results demonstrated relations between ADHD, temperament, and parent reported impairment in the expected directions, although temperament dimensions were not a significant moderator. Results for teacher reported impairment showed moderating effects of surgency and EC on the relations between impairment and ADHD, although some of these relations were not in the expected directions. Findings offer additional support for the literature on ADHD, temperament, and parent report impairment, and suggest a need for additional research into how surgency functions with regard to impairment, particularly in the academic setting. Findings additionally suggest a need for more complex analyses of the overlap between temperament and ADHD. Results may be utilized to inform intervention work, particularly related to problems in the classroom that may be associated with attention problems and aspects such as engagement and prosocial behavior.

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