Longitudinal Exploration of Friendship Patterns of Children and Early Adolescents With and Without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Title: Longitudinal Exploration of Friendship Patterns of Children and Early Adolescents With and Without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Authors: Chupetlovska-Anastasova, Angelina
Date: 2014
Abstract: The current study is a multimethod, longitudinal exploration of friendship patterns of children with ADHD. We relied on information from parent and teacher ratings, self-report measures of children and their friends, and observational data from three interactive tasks. In the two phases of the study, the participants were 112 children and their friends between the ages of 7 and 13: ADHD group dyads, n = 68; comparison group dyads, n = 44. Results indicated that the friendships of children with ADHD differed from the friendships of the comparison group. Overall, children with ADHD had friendships that, although stable over time, were of lower duration and stability than the friendships of comparison children. The lower duration and stability of friendships in the ADHD group coincided with more single-parent households in this group, which may indicate elevated family stress. However, children with ADHD were no different than comparison children in regards to the age of their friends and the places where they met them. At both participations, ADHD dyads reported fewer positive friendship features than comparison dyads. Furthermore, children with ADHD reported less intimacy toward their friends, less help and guidance, and less validation and caring. The friendship behaviour dynamics observed during the interactive tasks differed between the two groups. Children with ADHD violated more rules and were less altruistic and sensitive during interactions. Additionally, children with ADHD showed less positive and more non-positive affect while relating to their friends. When a decision that involved a compromise had to be made, the length of interaction was greater and coincided with displayed non-positive affect. Additionally, their friendly interactions were observed to be characterized by unequal power distribution as opposed to those in the comparison group where there was greater power equality. However, our results also suggest that the behavioural trajectory over time was similar between the ADHD and comparison groups. The friendships of ADHD and comparison children were rich in positive and negative friendship features reported by the two friends, and over time there was more open reporting of the negative friendship aspects. Our results did not seem to be affected by gender and age differences, ADHD subtypes, comorbidities, or medication status. Through outlining friendship patterns of children with ADHD, we are hopeful that our findings may be useful to mitigate negative social consequences of ADHD. A practical clinical application may be in recommending measures and creating interventions aimed at promoting friendship and improving social adjustments in children and young adolescents with ADHD.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/31462
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -