Emotion regulation accounts for the relation between ADHD and peer victimization

  • Nicholas D. FoglemanEmail author
  • Kelly E. Slaughter
  • Paul J. Rosen
  • Kirsten D. Leaberry
  • Danielle M. Walerius
Original Paper


Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often experience higher rates of emotion regulation deficits and peer victimization relative to unaffected children; however, few studies have examined the extent to which emotion regulation is associated with peer victimization among children with ADHD. The current study proposed a model whereby ADHD was directly and indirectly related to peer victimization through emotion regulation, and that emotion regulation directly predicted peer victimization above and beyond the effect of ADHD. Two hundred ten children (133 ADHD, 77 non-ADHD) enrolled in the present study. Parents completed measures to assess ADHD diagnostic status, and parents and children completed measures of emotion regulation and peer victimization. Model testing strongly supported the direct association of emotion regulation on peer victimization for children with and without ADHD, and also provided support for an indirect effect of ADHD on peer victimization through emotion regulation. Using a multi-informant approach, the current study demonstrated that emotion regulation directly effects peer victimization among children with and without ADHD and indirectly effects the relation between ADHD and peer victimization. For all children, the inability to regulate and cope with emotions appears to play a powerful role in the frequency with which they experience peer victimization, and for children with ADHD, increased rates of peer victimization are likely attributable to co-occurring deficits in emotion regulation.


ADHD Emotion regulation Peer victimization 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

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 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas D. Fogleman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kelly E. Slaughter
    • 1
  • Paul J. Rosen
    • 1
  • Kirsten D. Leaberry
    • 1
  • Danielle M. Walerius
    • 3
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Nationwide Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA

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