Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

12-2020

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Degree Program

Clinical Psychology, PhD

Committee Chair

Rosen, Paul

Committee Member

Walter, Bernadette

Committee Member

Stetson, Barbara

Committee Member

Depue, Brendan

Committee Member

Brady, Christine

Author's Keywords

ADHD; temperament; emotion regulation; comorbidity; children

Abstract

Emerging research has increasingly identified the detrimental effect of internalizing and externalizing comorbidity on the functioning of youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Research in the broad child psychopathology literature has identified a variety of dispositional and developmental risk factors for psychopathology development in youth. However, a conceptual model of psychopathology development has yet to be developed and empirically evaluated in an ADHD sample. Children with ADHD may be particularly vulnerable to exhibiting high rates of psychopathology, given deficits in self-regulation prevalent in this population. The current study proposed and evaluated a theoretical model of distal and proximal risk factors for internalizing and externalizing pathology development in youth with ADHD. Specifically, this study investigated the influence of reactive and regulative temperament dimensions and emotion regulation on concurrent internalizing and externalizing pathology through utilization of hierarchical regression and path analyses. It was hypothesized that emotion regulation would emerge as a transdiagnostic mechanism to explain the relationship between temperament and psychopathology in youth with ADHD. Participants were 46 children ages 9-13 with ADHD and their parents, recruited from the community. Both children and parents completed measures to assess temperament, emotion regulation, and psychopathology. Children completed two tasks; a Stroop task and an emotional go/no go, to assess attentional control and inhibitory control regulation dimensions. Hypotheses were partially supported. Results of path analyses indicated emotion regulation explained the relationship between temperamental inhibitory control and broad psychopathology. Additionally, emotion regulation also explained the link between temperamental negative affect and externalizing pathology, but not internalizing pathology. Instead, temperamental negative affect directly estimated internalizing pathology among youth with ADHD. Children who self-reported higher emotion dysregulation performed worse on the laboratory inhibitory control task, but not the laboratory attentional control task. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and clinical implications for future research investigating psychopathology development among youth with ADHD.

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