European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 245–253

The adolescent outcome of hyperactive girls

Self-reported interpersonal relationships and coping mechanisms
  • Susan Young
  • Oliver Chadwick
  • Ellen Heptinstall
  • Eric Taylor
  • Edmund J. S. Sonuga-Barke


The aim of the study was to clarify the developmental risk for interpersonal relationship problems and ineffective coping strategies associated with hyperactive behaviour in girls in a longitudinal epidemiological design. This was investigated in a follow-up study of girls who were identified by parent and teacher ratings in a large community survey of 6- and 7-year-olds as showing pervasive hyperactivity or conduct problems or the comorbid mixture of both problems or neither problem. They were later investigated, at the age of 14–16 years, in a detailed interview. Childhood hyperactivity was a risk for disrupted relationships in adolescence with peers and the opposite sex, but not parents. Findings were independent of the existence of conduct problems. Hyperactivity was a risk for the use of a wide variety of ineffective coping strategies. On the other hand, conduct problem girls reported applying specific coping strategies, but rated these to be ineffective. It is concluded that early therapeutic interventions targeting the development of social skills and problem-solving skills are required in order to help overcome these problems in later life.

Key words

hyperactivity conduct problems coping interpersonal relationships 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Young
    • 1
  • Oliver Chadwick
    • 1
  • Ellen Heptinstall
    • 2
  • Eric Taylor
    • 2
  • Edmund J. S. Sonuga-Barke
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, PO78Institute of PsychiatryLondon SE5 8AFUK
  2. 2.Department of Child & Adolescent PsychiatryInstitute of PsychiatryLondon SE5 8AFUK
  3. 3.Development Brain and Behaviour UnitUniversity of SouthamptonSouthampton, SO17 1BJUK

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