To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Institutional deprivation in early childhood is associated with neuropsychological deficits in adolescence. Using 20-year follow-up data from a unique natural experiment – the large-scale adoption of children exposed to extreme deprivation in Romanian institutions in the 1980s –we examined, for the first time, whether such deficits are still present in adulthood and whether they are associated with deprivation-related symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Adult neuropsychological functioning was assessed across five domains (inhibitory control, emotion recognition, decision-making, prospective memory and IQ) in 70 previously institutionalized adoptees (mean age = 25.3, 50% female) and 22 non-deprived UK adoptees (comparison group, mean age = 24.6, 41% female). ADHD and ASD symptoms were assessed using parent-completed questionnaires.
Early institutionalization was associated with impaired performance on all tasks in adulthood. Prospective memory deficits persisted after controlling for IQ. ADHD and ASD symptoms were positively correlated. After controlling for ASD symptoms, ADHD symptoms remained associated with deficits in IQ, prospective memory, proactive inhibition, decision-making quality and emotion recognition. ASD symptoms were not independently associated with neuropsychological deficits when accounting for their overlap with ADHD symptoms. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the link between childhood deprivation and adult ADHD symptoms was statistically explained by deprivation-related differences in adult IQ and prospective memory.
These results represent some of the most compelling evidence to date of the enduring power of early, time-limited childhood adversity to impair long-term neuropsychological functioning across the lifespan – effects that are linked specifically to deprivation-related adult ADHD symptoms.
ADHD is a prevalent and highly heritable mental disorder associated with significant impairment, morbidity and increased rates of mortality. This combination of high prevalence and high morbidity/mortality seen in ADHD and other mental disorders presents a challenge to natural selection-based models of human evolution. Several hypotheses have been proposed in an attempt to resolve this apparent paradox. The aim of this study was to review the evidence for these hypotheses.
We conducted a systematic review of the literature on empirical investigations of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts for ADHD in adherence with the PRISMA guideline. The PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were screened for relevant publications, by combining search terms covering evolution/selection with search terms covering ADHD.
The search identified 790 records. Of these, 15 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility, and three were included in the review. Two of these reported on the evolution of the seven-repeat allele of the ADHD-associated dopamine receptor D4 gene, and one reported on the results of a simulation study of the effect of suggested ADHD-traits on group survival. The authors of the three studies interpreted their findings as favouring the notion that ADHD-traits may have been associated with increased fitness during human evolution. However, we argue that none of the three studies really tap into the core symptoms of ADHD, and that their conclusions therefore lack validity for the disorder.
This review indicates that the natural selection-based accounts of ADHD have not been subjected to empirical test and therefore remain hypothetical.
The study assessed conduct and emotional difficulties in a group of Romanian adoptees at age 11, and serves as a follow-up to assessments made when the children were 6 years old. It was found that there was a significant increase in emotional difficulties, but not conduct problems, for the Romanian sample since age 6. It was also found that emotional difficulty was significantly more prevalent at age 11 in the Romanian group than in a within-UK adoptee group. Emotional difficulties in the Romanian adoptee group were found to be significantly and strongly related to previous deprivation-specific problems (disinhibited attachment, cognitive impairment, inattention/overactivity and quasi-autism); however, the presence of such early problems did not account fully for the onset of later emotional problems. Five contrasting hypotheses concerning possible mediators for later onset of emotional difficulties for the Romanian group were examined. No links were found to duration of deprivation or other deprivation-related indices, stresses/difficulties in the postadoption family environment, or educational attainment and self-esteem. There was some evidence that emotion recognition might play a role in the emergence of these problems, but other measures of social competence and theory of mind showed no associations with the onset of emotional problems.
The impact of similarity in parent and child characteristics on the quality of parenting is underresearched. The current study examined the interaction between mother and child attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on parenting. Two hypotheses were tested: the similarity-fit hypothesis, which predicted that parent and child similarity will improve parenting, and the similarity-misfit hypothesis, which predicted the opposite. Study 1 examined the associations between maternal and child ADHD symptoms and child-specific rearing attitudes of 95 mothers with school-aged children. In Study 2 this analysis was extended to more objective observer-rated mother–child interaction and maternal expressed emotion in 192 mothers of preschool children. Child ADHD symptoms were associated with negative maternal comments and maternal ADHD symptoms with negative expressed emotion. In both studies maternal ADHD symptoms appeared to ameliorate the effects of child ADHD symptoms on negative parenting. Parental response to children with high ADHD symptoms was more positive and affectionate when the mother also had high ADHD symptoms. The results support the similarity-fit hypothesis and highlight the importance of considering both child and maternal ADHD symptoms in studies of parenting.
the reinforcement/extinction disorder hypothesis (sagvolden et al.) is an important counterweight to the executive dysfunction model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd). however, like that model, it conceptualises adhd as pathophysiologically homogeneous, resulting from a common core dysfunction. recent studies reporting neuropsychological heterogeneity suggest that this common core dysfunction may be the scientific equivalent of a red herring.
Research on the role of parenting styles in the development of disruptive behaviour problems
has focused primarily on how parents handle conflict once it has occurred. This home
observational study examined strategies used by 52 mothers to prevent conflict with 3-year-olds. It was predicted that mothers of children with behaviour problems would use fewer
“positive” strategies to resolve conflict, and would use reactive rather than pre-emptive
strategies. Results showed frequency of positive strategies did not differ between the groups.
Mothers of children with behaviour problems were less likely to use pre-emptive, and more
likely to use reactive, strategies. Further analysis showed child conduct problems, rather
than other characteristics, best discriminated pre-emptive from reactive strategy users.
Follow-up of a subsample found that reactive strategies at age 3 predicted age 5 behaviour
problems, even after controlling for age 3 behaviour problems.
In this review we explore the clinical and scientific status of
categorical models of childhood
disorder. Three themes are developed. First, the practical origins of standardised
category-based diagnostic schemes are examined along with their contemporary
psychological significance. Next, the impact that these systems have had
on the science of
child psychopathology is explored. We look at their link to the medical
model and the
assumption that childhood disorders are categorical, endogenous, and dysfunctional
nature. We argue that these assumptions underpin the dominant paradigm
psychopathology and so constrain empirical study and theory development.
In the final
section, the different ways in which researchers have responded to this
link and its impact on
science are presented. We present the sort of scientific realism associated
with Meehl (1995)
as the most appropriate basis for a philosophically respectable child psychopathology.
Following this approach means unpacking the paradigmatic assumptions, including
assumption of the categorical structure of disorder, into hypotheses that
are then put to
empirical test. The sorts of data that would allow us to test the categorical
identified. We conclude by discussing the results from three recent studies
genetic analysis of twin data that, in fact, lead us toward a rejection
of this hypothesis. The
implications for diagnostic and clinical practice of such a rejection are
The prevalence rate of behaviour problems and maternal mental disturbance was estimated using a sample of 1047 families with a 3-year-old child from a mixed urban/rural area.
Parents completed the Child Behaviour Checklist, EAS Temperament Questionnaire, Weiss–Werry–Peters Activity Scale and the GHQ–30.
The rate of behaviour problems (13.2%) was similar to that obtained in studies of urban children. The rate of maternal disturbance (27.6%) was lower than in other population samples. Few differences were found in the prevalence rates in the urban and rural areas.
Preschool children and their parents living in non-urban areas had the same rates of problems as those in conurbations. The service needs of such families are similar regardless of locality.
There is a lack of clear and explicit models of the way various family and social influences on children's behaviour interact with factors such as temperament to produce behaviour disturbance in young children.
The following measures had been obtained on a total population sample of 1047 families with a 3-year-old child: the child's perceived cuddliness, difficult temperament, mother's unhappy childhood, maternal disturbance, social class, behaviour problems and overactivity. A latent variable analysis using the LISREL 7 program was applied to the data.
A model that allowed the latent variables child ‘temperament’ and ‘mother's mental state’ to have separate additive effects on ‘child adaptation’ proved an excellent fit (goodness of fit index = 0.956). This model suggests that there is a common factor (‘child adaptation’) underlying behaviour problems and overactivity. Using this model 72% of child adaptation in boys could be explained. For girls however temperament and mother's mental state accounted for only 30% of the variance in child adaptation.
There is a need to investigate different mechanisms for the origins of behaviour problems in preschool boys and girls.
The extent to which certain maternal, child and family characteristics are associated in families with a 3-year-old child were examined.
A total population of families with a 3-year-old child and living in the New Forest were identified. Measures of child behaviour and the maternal GHQ-30 were obtained.
Whereas behaviour problems were found to be significantly associated with all maternal and family factors (except social class), difficult temperament was only related to mother's recall of their own childhood as unhappy and overactivity was only significantly associated with maternal disturbance.
The results are consistent with maternal disturbance and difficult temperament acting independently and additively to influence the development of behaviour problems in preschool children.