Etiological Networks of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder during Childhood and Adolescence

Patrick K. Goh, Tess E. Smith, Christine A. Lee, Pevitr S. Bansal, Ashley G. Eng, Michelle M. Martel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of the current study was to use network analysis techniques to parse relations between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptom domains, domains of executive function, and temperament traits. Methods: Participants were 420 children aged 6–17 years (55% boys). The majority of the participants were Caucasian (72.86%) and 50% of the sample met diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Both parents and teachers provided ratings of participants’ ADHD symptom severity. Parents completed questionnaires pertaining to participants’ temperament traits, and participants completed well-validated laboratory measures of executive function. Results: Results suggested effortful control as demonstrating the strongest relations with ADHD, particularly the parent-reported inattentive symptom domain. Additionally, negative effects appeared to demonstrate weaker but still notable relations primarily with the parent-reported hyperactive/impulsive symptom domain. Measures of executive function did not appear to demonstrate relations with any measures of ADHD symptoms or temperament traits. The results were generally replicated in a distinct sample (n = 732, 7–13 years, 63% boys, 81% White), although differences emerged pertaining to the role of surgency (i.e., related to the hyperactive/impulsive symptom domain in the replication but not the primary sample). Conclusions: Overall, findings provided support for the primary role of effortful control, as well as secondary roles for negative affect and surgency, as key risk markers for the characterization of ADHD. Additional exploration of the overlap between temperament and executive function, as pertaining to ADHD, may help clarify heterogeneity in phenotypes and suggest priorities for targeted interventions outside of traditional symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-243
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support was provided by NIH [R37-MH-59105-12 and R01-MH59105]. The authors thank all participants for making this work possible. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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