Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 823–837 | Cite as

Resilient Adolescent Adjustment Among Girls: Buffers of Childhood Peer Rejection and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Original Paper


Examined a risk-resilience model of peer rejection and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a 5-year longitudinal study of 209 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse girls aged 6–13 at baseline and 11–18 at follow-up. Risk factors were childhood ADHD diagnosis and peer rejection; hypothesized protective factors were childhood measures of self-perceived scholastic competence, engagement in goal-directed play when alone, and popularity with adults. Adolescent criterion measures were multi-informant composites of externalizing and internalizing behavior plus indicators of academic achievement, eating pathology, and substance use. ADHD and peer rejection predicted risk for all criterion measures except for substance use, which was predicted by ADHD only. ADHD and peer rejection predicted lower adolescent academic achievement controlling for childhood achievement, but they did not predict adolescent externalizing and internalizing behavior after controlling for baseline levels of these constructs. Regarding buffers, self-perceived scholastic competence in childhood (with control of academic achievement) predicted resilient adolescent functioning. Contrary to hypothesis, goal-directed play in childhood was associated with poor adolescent outcomes. Buffers were not found to have differential effectiveness among girls with ADHD relative to comparison girls.


ADHD Peer rejection Resilience Scholastic competence Goal-directed play Popularity with adults Girls 



Work on this research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grants R01 MH45064 and F31MH12838, and the Sheldon J. Korchin Prize at the University of California, Berkeley. We express our great appreciation to the girls and their families who participated in this project, to Elizabeth Owens and the many individuals who assisted with data collection and data management, and to Ann Kring and Carolyn Hofstetter for their consultation on this study. This article was based on a dissertation completed by the first author at the University of California, Berkeley.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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