European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 477–483 | Cite as

Impulsivity-hyperactivity and subtypes of aggression in early childhood: an observational and short-term longitudinal study

  • Jamie M. OstrovEmail author
  • Stephanie A. Godleski
Original Contribution


This short-term longitudinal study (N = 112) was conducted to explore the concurrent and prospective associations between teacher-reported impulsive-hyperactive behavior and observed relational and physical aggression during early childhood (M = 45.54 months old, SD = 9.07). Multiple informants and methods including observational methods (i.e., 160 min per child) were used to assess aggression and impulsivity-hyperactivity. All measures were found to be valid and reliable. Prospective hierarchical regression analyses revealed that impulsivity-hyperactivity was associated with increases in observed physical aggression across time, controlling for initial relational aggression and gender. These findings add to the growing developmental psychopathology literature that suggests that distinguishing between subtypes of aggression during early childhood may be important for understanding the course of impulsivity-hyperactivity in young children. Implications for practice are discussed.


Relational aggression Physical aggression Impulsivity Early childhood Observation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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