Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 265–274

Academic Pathways between Attention Problems and Depressive Symptoms Among Urban African American Children


    • School of MedicineJohns Hopkins UniversityJohns Hopkins University
    • Division of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryJohns Hopkins University
  • Sharon F. Lambert
    • George Washington University
  • Nicholas S. Ialongo
    • School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins University
  • Rick Ostrander
    • School of MedicineJohns Hopkins UniversityJohns Hopkins University
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10802-006-9083-2

Cite this article as:
Herman, K.C., Lambert, S.F., Ialongo, N.S. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2007) 35: 265. doi:10.1007/s10802-006-9083-2


The present study investigated the pathways between attention problems and depressive symptoms, particularly the role of academic incompetence, among a community sample of urban African American children. Results supported the hypothesized path models from inattention to depressive symptoms for girls and boys. Academic performance in the spring of first grade mediated the relationship between inattention in fall of first grade and depressive symptoms in spring of 3rd grade. The effects held when controlling for conduct problems and academic competence in first grade suggesting the path was specific to attention problems rather than a more general externalizing or school readiness pathway. Implications for designing interventions and prevention strategies for children with attention problems and depressive symptoms are discussed.


Attention problemsDepressionAcademic competenceGender differences

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006