Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Observed temperament from ages 6 to 36 months predicts parent- and teacher-reported attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in first grade

  • Michael T. Willoughby (a1), Nisha C. Gottfredson (a2), Cynthia A. Stifter (a3) and The Family Life Project Investigators

Abstract

This study tested the prospective association between observational indicators of temperament, which were obtained across multiple assessments when children were 6–36 months of age, and parent and teacher reports of children's attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors, when children were in first grade. Data were drawn from the Family Life Project and included 1,074 children for whom temperament and either parent- or teacher-reported ADHD behavioral data were available. The results of variable-centered regression models indicated that individual differences in temperament regulation, but not temperamental reactivity, was uniquely predictive of parent- and teacher-reported ADHD behaviors. Latent profile analyses were used to characterize configurations of temperamental reactivity and regulation. Person-centered regression models were subsequently estimated in which temperamental profile membership replaced continuous indicators of temperamental reactivity and regulation as predictors. The results of person-centered regression models indicated that temperamental reactivity and regulation both contributed (both alone and in combination) to the prediction of subsequent ADHD behaviors. In general, the predictive associations from early temperament to later ADHD were of modest magnitude (R 2 = .10–.17). Results are discussed with respect to interest in the early identification of children who are at elevated risk for later ADHD.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Michael Willoughby, RTI International, Room 349 Hobbs Building, 3040 Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194; E-mail: mwilloughby@rti.org.

References

Hide All
Altink, M. E., Arias-Vasquez, A., Franke, B., Slaats-Willemse, D. I. E., Buschgens, C. J. M., Rommelse, N. N. J., et al. (2008). The dopamine receptor D4 7-repeat allele and prenatal smoking in ADHD-affected children and their unaffected siblings: No gene–environment interaction. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 10531060. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.01998.x
Auerbach, J. G., Atzaba-Poria, N., Berger, A., Landau, R., Arbelle, S., Raz, Y., et al. (2010). Dopamine risk and paternal ADHD symptomatology associated with ADHD symptoms in four and a half-year-old boys. Psychiatric Genetics, 20, 160165.
Auerbach, J. G., Berger, A., Atzaba-Poria, N., Arbelle, S., Cypin, N., Friedman, A., et al. (2008). Temperament at 7, 12, and 25 months in children at familial risk for ADHD. Infant and Child Development, 17, 321338.
Auerbach, J. G., Landau, R., Berger, A., Arbelle, S., Faroy, M., & Karplus, M. (2005). Neonatal behavior of infants at familial risk for ADHD. Infant Behavior and Development, 28, 220224.
Bayley, N. (1969). Bayley Scales of Infant Development. New York: Psychological Corp.
Bell, L., Kellison, I., Garvan, C. W., & Bussing, R. (2010). Relationships between child-reported activity level and task orientation and parental attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptom ratings. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 31, 233237.
Berger, A., Alyagon, U., Hadaya, H., Atzaba-Poria, N., & Auerbach, J. G. (2013). Response inhibition in preschoolers at familial risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A behavioral and electrophysiological stop-signal study. Child Development, 84, 16161632. doi:10.1111/Cdev.12072
Biederman, J., & Faraone, S. V. (2004). The Massachusetts General Hospital studies of gender influences on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in youth and relatives. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 27, 225.
Biederman, J., Faraone, S. V., Keenan, K., Benjamin, J., Krifcher, B., Moore, C., & et al. (1992). Further evidence for family-genetic risk factors in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Patterns of comorbidity in probands and relatives in psychiatrically and pediatrically referred samples. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 728738.
Bussing, R., Lehninger, F., & Eyberg, S. (2006). Difficult child temperament and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in preschool children. Infants and Young Children, 19, 123131.
Carlson, S. M., Mandell, D. J., & Williams, L. (2004). Executive function and theory of mind: Stability and prediction from ages 2 to 3. Developmental Psychology, 40, 11051122.
Das Banerjee, T., Middleton, F., & Faraone, S. V. (2007). Environmental risk factors for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Acta Paediatrica, 96, 12691274.
Else-Quest, N. M., Hyde, J. S., Goldsmith, H. H., & Van Hulle, C. A. (2006). Gender differences in temperament: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 3372.
Epstein, J. N., Conners, C. K., Erhardt, D., Arnold, L. E., Hechtman, L., Hinshaw, S. P., et al. (2000). Familial aggregation of ADHD characteristics. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 28, 585594.
Erskine, H. E., Ferrari, A. J., Nelson, P., Polanczyk, G. V., Flaxman, A. D., Vos, T., et al. (2013). Research Review: Epidemiological modelling of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 12631274. doi:10.1111/Jcpp.12144
Fischer, M., Barkley, R. A., Smallish, L., & Fletcher, K. (2002). Young adult follow-up of hyperactive children: Self-reported psychiatric disorders, comorbidity, and the role of childhood conduct problems and teen CD. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30, 463475.
Fischer, M., Barkley, R. A., Smallish, L., & Fletcher, K. (2007). Hyperactive children as young adults: Driving abilities, safe driving behavior, and adverse driving outcomes. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 39, 94105. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2006.06.008
Foley, M., McClowry, S. G., & Castellanos, F. X. (2008). The relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and child temperament. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 157169.
Froehlich, T. E., Anixt, J. S., Loe, I. M., Chirdkiatgumchai, V., Kuan, L., & Gilman, R. C. (2011). Update on environmental risk factors for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Current Psychiatry Reports, 13, 333344. doi:10.1007/s11920-011-0221-3
Froehlich, T. E., Lanphear, B. P., Dietrich, K. N., Cory-Slechta, D. A., Wang, N., & Kahn, R. S. (2007). Interactive effects of a DRD4 polymorphism, lead, and sex on executive functions in children. Biological Psychiatry, 62, 243249.
Galera, C., Cote, S. M., Bouvard, M. P., Pingault, J. B., Melchior, M., Michel, G., et al. (2011). Early risk factors for hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention trajectories from age 17 months to 8 years. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 12671275.
Gerardi-Caulton, G. (2000). Sensitivity to spatial conflict and the development of self-regulation in children 24-36 months of age. Developmental Science, 3, 397404.
Goldsmith, H., & Rothbart, M. (1996). The Laboratory Temperament Assessment Battery: Prelocomotor version. 3.0. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Department of Psychology.
Guerin, D. W., Gottfried, A. W., & Thomas, C. W. (1997). Difficult temperament and behaviour problems: A longitudinal study from 1.5 to 12 years. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 21, 7190.
Gurevitz, M., Geva, R., Varon, M., & Leitner, Y. (2014). Early markers in infants and toddlers for development of ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 18, 1422. doi:10.1177/1087054712447858
Healey, D. M., Marks, D. J., & Halperin, J. M. (2011). Examining the interplay among negative emotionality, cognitive functioning, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptom severity. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17, 502510. doi:10.1017/S1355617711000294
Hemmi, M. H., Wolke, D., & Schneider, S. (2011). Associations between problems with crying, sleeping and/or feeding in infancy and long-term behavioural outcomes in childhood: A meta-analysis. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 96, 622629. doi:10.1136/adc.2010.191312
Hermens, D. F., Williams, L. M., Lazzaro, I., Whitmont, S., Melkonian, D., & Gordon, E. (2004). Sex differences in adult ADHD: A double dissociation in brain activity and autonomic arousal. Biological Psychology, 66, 221233.
Karalunas, S. L., Fair, D., Musser, E. D., Aykes, K., Iyer, S. P., & Nigg, J. T. (2014). Subtyping attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder using temperament dimensions toward biologically based nosologic criteria. JAMA Psychiatry, 71, 10151024. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.763
Klein, R. G., Mannuzza, S., Olazagasti, M. A. R., Roizen, E., Hutchison, J. A., Lashua, E. C., et al. (2012). Clinical and functional outcome of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder 33 years later. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69, 12951303. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2012.271
Kochanska, G., Murray, K. T., & Harlan, E. T. (2000). Effortful control in early childhood: Continuity and change, antecedents, and implications for social development. Developmental Psychology, 36, 220232.
Kupfer, D. J., Baltimore, R. S., Berry, D. A., Breslau, N., Ellinwood, E. H., Ferre, J., et al. (2000). National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement: Diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 182193.
Lahey, B. (2004). Commentary: Role of temperament in developmental models of psychopathology. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 8893.
Lambert, N. M. (1982). Temperament profiles of hyperactive children. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 52, 458467.
Landau, R., Sadeh, A., Vassoly, P., Berger, A., Atzaba-Poria, N., & Auerbach, J. G. (2010). Sleep patterns of 7-week-old infants at familial risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Infant Mental Health Journal, 31, 630646.
Langley, K., Heron, J., Smith, G. D., & Thapar, A. (2012). Maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of ADHD symptoms in offspring: Testing for intrauterine effects. American Journal of Epidemiology, 176, 261268. doi:10.1093/Aje/Kwr510
Levy, F., Hay, D. A., Bennett, K. S., & McStephen, M. (2005). Gender differences in ADHD subtype comorbidity. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 368376.
Linnet, K. M., Dalsgaard, S., Obel, C., Wisborg, K., Henriksen, T. B., Rodriguez, A., et al. (2003). Maternal lifestyle factors in pregnancy risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and associated behaviors: Review of the current evidence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 10281040.
Martel, M. M. (2013). Individual differences in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and associated executive dysfunction and traits: Sex, ethnicity, and family income. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 83, 165175. doi:10.1111/Ajop.12034
Martel, M. M., Gremillion, M. L., & Roberts, B. (2012). Temperament and common disruptive behavior problems in preschool. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 874879. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.011
Martel, M. M., Lucia, V. C., Nigg, J. T., & Breslau, N. (2007). Sex differences in the pathway from low birth weight to inattention/hyperactivity. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 35, 8796.
Martel, M. M., & Nigg, J. T. (2006). Child ADHD and personality/temperament traits of reactive and effortful control, resiliency, and emotionality. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 11751183. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01629.x
Martel, M. M., Nigg, J. T., & Lucas, R. E. (2008). Trait mechanisms in youth with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 895913.
Martel, M. M., Nigg, J. T., & von Eye, A. (2009). How do trait dimensions map onto ADHD symptom domains? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 337348.
Martel, M. M., von Eye, A., & Nigg, J. T. (2010). Revisiting the latent structure of ADHD: Is there a “g” factor? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 905914.
McIntosh, D. E., & ColeLove, A. S. (1996). Profile comparisons between ADHD and non-ADHD children on the temperament assessment battery for children. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 14, 362372.
Muris, P., & Ollendick, T. H. (2005). The role of temperament in the etiology of child psychopathology. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 8, 271289. doi:10.1007/s10567-005-8809-y
Neuman, R. J., Lobos, E., Reich, W., Henderson, C. A., Sun, L. W., & Todd, R. D. (2007). Prenatal smoking exposure and dopaminergic genotypes interact to cause a severe ADHD subtype. Biological Psychiatry, 61, 13201328. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.08.049
Nigg, J. T. (2006). Temperament and developmental psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 395422.
Nigg, J. T., Goldsmith, H. H., & Sachek, J. (2004). Temperament and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: The development of a multiple pathway model. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 4253.
Nigg, J. T., Nikolas, M., & Burt, S. A. (2010). Measured gene-by-environment interaction in relation to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 863873. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2010.01.025
Nylund, K. L., Asparouhov, T., & Muthen, B. O. (2008). Deciding on the number of classes in latent class analysis and growth mixture modeling: A Monte Carlo simulation study. Structural Equation Modeling, 15, 182. doi:10.1080/10705510701793320
Oberklaid, F., Sanson, A., Pedlow, R., & Prior, M. (1993). Predicting preschool behavior problems from temperament and other variables in infancy. Pediatrics, 91, 113120.
Pauli-Pott, U., Dalir, S., Mingebach, T., Roller, A., & Becker, K. (2013). Do different ADHD-related etiological risks involve specific neuropsychological pathways? An analysis of mediation processes by inhibitory control and delay aversion. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 800809. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12059
Pelham, W. E., Evans, S. W., Gnagy, E. M., & Greenslade, K. E. (1992). Teacher ratings of DSM-III-R symptoms for the disruptive behavior disorders: Prevalence, factor analyses, and conditional probabilities in a special education sample. School Psychology Review, 21, 285299.
Pelham, W. E., Foster, E. M., & Robb, J. A. (2007). The economic impact of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 32, 711727.
Polanczyk, G., de Lima, M. S., Horta, B. L., Biederman, J., & Rohde, L. A. (2007). The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: A systematic review and metaregression analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 942948.
Ramtekkar, U. P., Reiersen, A. M., Todorov, A. A., & Todd, R. D. (2010). Sex and age differences in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and diagnoses: Implications for DSM-V and ICD-11. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 217228.
Rettew, D. C., Copeland, W., Stranger, C., & Hudziack, J. J. (2004). Associations between temperament and DSM-IV externalizing disorders in children and adolescents. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 25, 383392.
Rucklidge, J. J. (2010). Gender differences in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 33, 357.
Sagiv, S. K., Epstein, J. N., Bellinger, D. C., & Korrick, S. A. (2013). Pre- and postnatal risk factors for ADHD in a nonclinical pediatric population. Journal of Attention Disorders, 17, 4757. doi:10.1177/1087054711427563
Seidman, L. J., Biederman, J., Faraone, S. V., Milberger, S., Norman, D., Seiverd, K., et al. (1995). Effects of family history and comorbidity on the neuropsychological performance of children with ADHD: Preliminary findings. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 10151024. doi:10.1097/00004583-199508000-00011
Seidman, L. J., Biederman, J., Monuteaux, M. C., Valera, E., Doyle, A. E., & Faraone, S. V. (2005). Impact of gender and age on executive functioning: Do girls and boys with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder differ neuropsychologically in preteen and teenage years? Developmental Neuropsychology, 27, 79105.
Skoglund, C., Chen, Q., D'Onofrio, B. M., Lichtenstein, P., & Larsson, H. (2014). Familial confounding of the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and ADHD in offspring. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 6168. doi:10.1111/Jcpp.12124
Sonuga-Barke, E. J. S., & Halperin, J. M. (2010). Developmental phenotypes and causal pathways in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Potential targets for early intervention? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 368389.
Stawicki, J. A., Nigg, J. T., & von Eye, A. (2006). Family psychiatric history evidence on the nosological relations of DSM-IV ADHD combined and inattentive subtypes: New data and meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 935945. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01628.x
Stifter, C. A., & Braungart, J. M. (1995). The regulation of negative reactivity in infancy—Function and development. Developmental Psychology, 31, 448455. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.31.3.448
Stifter, C. A., & Corey, J. M. (2001). Vagal regulation and observed social behavior in infancy. Social Development, 10, 189201.
Stifter, C. A., & Dollar, J. (in press). Temperament and developmental psychopathology. In Cicchetti, D. (Ed.), Developmental psychopathology (Vol. 3, 3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.
Sullivan, E. L., Holton, K. F., Nousen, E. K., Barling, A. N., Sullivan, C. A., Propper, C. B., et al. (2015). Early identification of ADHD risk via infant temperament and emotion regulation: A pilot study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56, 949957. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12426
Thapar, A., Cooper, M., Eyre, O., & Langley, K. (2013). Practitioner Review: What have we learnt about the causes of ADHD? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 316. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02611.x
Thapar, A., Fowler, T., Rice, F., Scourfield, J., van den Bree, M., Thomas, H., et al. (2003). Maternal smoking during pregnancy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in offspring. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 19851989. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.160.11.1985
Thapar, A., Rice, F., Hay, D., Boivin, J., Langley, K., van den Bree, M., et al. (2009). Prenatal smoking might not cause attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Evidence from a novel design. Biological Psychiatry, 66, 722727. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.05.032
Thomas, A., & Chess, S. (1977). Temperament and development. New York: Bruner/Mazel.
Tofighi, D., & Enders, C. K. (2007). Identifying the correct number of classes in growth mixture models. In Hancock, G. R. & Samuelsen, K. M. (Eds.), Advances in latent variable mixture models (pp. 317341). Greenwich, CT: Information Age.
Toplak, M. E., Pitch, A., Flora, D. B., Iwenofu, L., Ghelani, K., Jain, U., et al. (2009). The unity and diversity of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in ADHD: Evidence for a general factor with separable dimensions. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 11371150. doi:10.1007/s10802-009-9336-y
Vernon-Feagans, L., Cox, M., & the Family Life Project Investigators. (2013). The Family Life Project: An epidemiological and developmental study of young children living in poor rural communities. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 78, 1150.
Willcutt, E. G., Nigg, J. T., Pennington, B. F., Solanto, M. V., Rohde, L. A., Tannock, R., et al. (2012). Validity of DSM-IV attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptom dimensions and subtypes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
Willoughby, M. T., Blair, C. B., Wirth, R. J., Greenberg, M., & the Family Life Project Investigators. (2010). The measurement of executive function at age 3 years: Psychometric properties and criterion validity of a new battery of tasks. Psychological Assessment, 22, 306317.
Willoughby, M. T., Blanton, Z. E., & the Family Life Project Investigators. (2015). Replication and external validation of a bi-factor parameterization of attention deficit/hyperactivity symptomatology. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 44, 6879. doi:10.1080/15374416.2013.850702
Willoughby, M. T., Pek, J., Greenberg, M. T., & the Family Life Project Investigators. (2012). Parent-reported attention deficit/hyperactivity symptomatology in preschool-aged children: Factor structure, developmental change, and early risk factors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 13011312. doi:10.1007/s10802-012-9641-8
Willoughby, M. T., Stifter, C. A., Gottfredson, N. C., & the Family Life Project Investigators. (2014). The epidemiology of observed temperament: Factor structure and demographic group differences. Infant Behavior & Development. Advance online publication.
Willoughby, M. T., Stifter, C. A., Gottfredson, N. C., & the Family Life Project Investigators. (2015). The epidemiology of observed temperament: Factor structure and demographic group differences. Infant Behavior & Development, 39, 2134. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2015.02.001
Yoshimasu, K., Barbaresi, W. J., Colligan, R. C., Killian, J. M., Voigt, R. G., Weaver, A. L., et al. (2010). Gender, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and reading disability in a population-based birth cohort. Pediatrics, 126, E788E795. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1187
Zelazo, P. D., & Carlson, S. M. (2012). Hot and cool executive function in childhood and adolescence: Development and plasticity. Child Development Perspectives, 6, 354360. doi:10.1111/j.1750-8606.2012.00246.x

Observed temperament from ages 6 to 36 months predicts parent- and teacher-reported attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in first grade

  • Michael T. Willoughby (a1), Nisha C. Gottfredson (a2), Cynthia A. Stifter (a3) and The Family Life Project Investigators

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed