European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 1277–1280 | Cite as

Self-reported attachment styles in children with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Rianne Hornstra
  • Guy Bosmans
  • Barbara J. van den Hoofdakker
  • Hasse De Meyer
  • Saskia van der OordEmail author
Brief Report


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder with a complex etiology: multiple genes and non-genetic factors contribute to its development. The frequently co-occurring externalizing behaviors [i.e., symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD)] are associated with problematic family functioning and conflicted parent–child relationships [3]. In the general population, externalizing behaviors appear to be related to insecure attachment and lack of trust in caregiver support (meta-analysis; [6]). Some studies in ADHD populations have shown that children with ADHD are more likely to be insecurely attached [5]. However, less is known whether attachment links more to comorbid ODD and CD symptoms or to the core symptoms of ADHD.

A recent review suggests an association between ADHD and insecure attachment competencies in children [11]. Nonetheless, the studies in this review only examined broad dimensions...



This work was supported by Research Grant G.0738.14N of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the ethical committee of the KU Leuven and all procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards (Social and Societal Ethics Committee, Faculty Psychology and Educational Sciences, G-2015 01 156).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of Groningen, University Medical Center GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Research Group Parenting and Special EducationKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Research Group Clinical PsychologyKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Developmental Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural SciencesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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