Neuropsychological Predictors of ODD Symptom Dimensions in Young Children

Shayl F Griffith, David H Arnold, Benjamin Rolon-Arroyo, Elizabeth A Harvey
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 2017 January 12, : 1-13
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a commonly diagnosed childhood behavior disorder, yet knowledge of relations between ODD and early neuropsychological functions, particularly independent of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is still limited. In addition, studies have not examined neuropsychological functioning as it relates to the different ODD symptom dimensions. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate how preschool neuropsychological functioning predicted negative affect, oppositional behavior, and antagonistic behavior symptom dimensions of ODD in 224 six-year-old children, oversampled for early behavior problems. Working memory, inhibition, and sustained attention predicted negative affect symptoms of ODD, controlling for ADHD, whereas delay aversion uniquely predicted oppositional behavior, controlling for ADHD. Delay aversion also marginally predicted antagonistic behavior, controlling for ADHD. Results demonstrate that different ODD symptom dimensions may be differentially predicted by different neuropsychological functions. The findings further underscore the importance of future research on ODD to take into account the possible heterogeneity of both symptoms and underlying neuropsychological functioning.

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