Family Routine Moderates the Relation Between Child Impulsivity and Oppositional Defiant Disorder Symptoms

Abstract

Although child impulsivity is associated with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptoms, few studies have examined whether family processes moderate this association. To address this gap, we tested whether child-reported family routine moderated the relation between child hyperactivity/impulsivity (HI) and ODD symptoms among a sample of low-income, urban, ethnic-minority children (N = 87, 51% male). Child HI and ODD symptoms were assessed using parent and teacher reports. HI also was indexed by a laboratory task. Family routine was assessed using child self-report. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that family routine moderated child HI. Among children with higher levels of teacher-reported HI symptoms, lower levels of family routine were associated with higher levels of teacher-reported ODD symptoms compared to children with lower levels of teacher-reported HI symptoms. Children who self-reported higher levels of family routine were rated as low on teacher-reported ODD symptoms, regardless of teacher-reported HI levels. Parent report and laboratory measures of child HI did not produce significant interactions. Lower levels of family routine may confer risk for ODD symptoms among low-income, urban, ethnic-minority children experiencing higher levels of HI.

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Correspondence to H. Isabella Lanza.

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This research was supported in part by grants from Temple University Office of the Vice President for Research and College of Liberal Arts and NIMH 1K01 MH073717-01A2 awarded to Dr. Drabick. We are particularly indebted to the families, principals, and school staff who participated in this research.

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Lanza, H.I., Drabick, D.A.G. Family Routine Moderates the Relation Between Child Impulsivity and Oppositional Defiant Disorder Symptoms. J Abnorm Child Psychol 39, 83–94 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-010-9447-5

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Keywords

  • Family routine
  • Impulsivity
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Parenting