Longitudinal network model of the co-development of temperament, executive functioning, and psychopathology symptoms in youth with and without ADHD

Sarah L. Karalunas, Dylan Antovich, Patrick K. Goh, Michelle M. Martel, Jessica Tipsord, Elizabeth K. Nousen, Joel T. Nigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, chronic, and impairing disorder, yet presentations of ADHD and clinical course are highly heterogeneous. Despite substantial research efforts, both (a) the secondary co-occurrence of ADHD and complicating additional clinical problems and (b) the developmental pathways leading toward or away from recovery through adolescence remain poorly understood. Resolving these requires accounting for transactional influences of a large number of features across development. Here, we applied a longitudinal cross-lagged panel network model to a multimodal, multilevel dataset in a well-characterized sample of 488 children (nADHD = 296) to test Research Domain Criteria initiative-inspired hypotheses about transdiagnostic risk. Network features included Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders symptoms, trait-based ratings of emotional functioning (temperament), and performance-based measures of cognition. Results confirmed that ADHD symptom domains, temperamental irritability, and working memory are independent transdiagnostic risk factors for psychopathology based on their direct associations with other features across time. ADHD symptoms and working memory each had direct, independent associations with depression. Results also demonstrated tightly linked co-development of ADHD symptoms and temperamental irritability, consistent with the possibility that this type of anger dysregulation is a core feature that is co-expressed as part of the ADHD phenotype for some children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1803-1820
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by R37 MH059105 (PI: Nigg). Karalunas’ time was additionally supported by R01 MH120109 (PI: Karalunas). Michelle Martel and Patrick Goh were supported by R01MH119119-01A1 (PI: Martel).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • ADHD
  • RDoC
  • executive functioning
  • longitudinal network
  • temperament
  • transdiagnostic risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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