Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 883–897 | Cite as

Factors Associated with Healthy and Impaired Social Functioning in Young Adolescents with ADHD

  • A. Raisa Ray
  • Steven W. Evans
  • Joshua M. Langberg


There is variability in the extent to which adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit social impairment, as the same diagnosis does not necessarily entail impairment in the same area(s) of functioning. The current study entailed a cross-sectional examination of enhancers to healthy social functioning and risk factors to parent- and self-rated social impairment in 324 middle school youth (ages 10–14 years) with ADHD. A series of binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to evaluate a risk-resilience model for social functioning, including testing compensatory (i.e., main; buffering) and protective (i.e., interaction) effects of enhancers in the presence of identified risk factors. Youth conduct problems, youth depression, and negative parenting emerged as risk factors. Self-rated social acceptance, activity participation (breadth and intensity), and parent involvement were enhancers of healthy social functioning. Of these enhancers, activity participation (breadth and intensity) and parent involvement showed buffering effects against the negative impact of the risk factors on social functioning. None of the enhancers displayed protective effects. The findings of this study enhance our understanding of the social functioning of young adolescents with ADHD, who comprise an understudied population relative to younger children with similar problems.


Adolescents ADHD Social functioning Risk factors Resilience 



The authors would like to thank Julie Sarno Owens, Ph.D., Brian T. Wymbs, Ph.D., and Nora Bunford, Ph.D. for feedback on early drafts of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This research was supported by a grant to the second and third authors from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; R01MH082864 & R01MH082865). The contents of this article do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute of Health and do not imply endorsement by the federal government.

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.

Supplementary material

10802_2016_217_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Raisa Ray
    • 1
  • Steven W. Evans
    • 1
  • Joshua M. Langberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Ohio UniversityAthensUSA
  2. 2.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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