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Oppositional Defiant Disorder Symptoms and Children’s Feelings of Happiness and Depression: Mediating Roles of Interpersonal Relationships

  • Wan Ding
  • Jocelyn Meza
  • Xiuyun LinEmail author
  • Ting He
  • Hui Chen
  • Yulong Wang
  • Shaozheng Qin
Article
  • 18 Downloads

Abstract

Children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) are at increased risk for developing severe negative emotional outcomes later in life. However, positive emotional outcomes are less studied. In the current study, we examine the longitudinal effects of ODD symptoms on both children’s feelings of happiness and depression from the dual-factor perspective of mental health. According to interpersonal perspectives of psychological symptoms, poor interpersonal relationships often play a critical role in the process of how children’s behavioral problems develop into severe emotional outcomes. Thus, Children’s relationships with parents, teachers, and peers were tested as mediators in these effects. Participants included 256 children with ODD were recruited in North, Middle, and South of Mainland China, along with their parents and teachers, and were assessed at three time points roughly two years apart. Results revealed that more severe ODD symptoms at Time 1 were related to more subsequent depressive symptoms and less happiness at Time 3. Moreover, father-child attachment, mother-child attachment, and peer relationships mediated the link between ODD symptoms and feelings of happiness while father-child attachment mediated the link between ODD symptoms and depressive symptoms. These findings reveal the importance of focusing on ODD-children’s feelings of happiness as well as depression and highlight the critical role of improving interpersonal functioning for children with ODD in protecting children from developing emotional impairments. Moreover, among all interpersonal relationships, high quality of father-child relationship needs to be mostly valued for Chinese families of children with ODD.

Keywords

Oppositional defiant disorder symptoms Happiness Depression Interpersonal relationships Longitudinal mediation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The study described in this report was Funded by Beijing 13th “Five” Education Sciences Planning (BAEA17039). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of Beijing Office for Education Sciences Planning. We are appreciative of the parents, children, and teachers who participated in our study and the people who assisted in data collection.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wan Ding
    • 1
  • Jocelyn Meza
    • 2
  • Xiuyun Lin
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Ting He
    • 1
  • Hui Chen
    • 1
  • Yulong Wang
    • 4
  • Shaozheng Qin
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Developmental Psychology, Faculty of PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, Faculty of PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyHunan Normal UniversityChangshaChina

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