Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 73–86 | Cite as

Emotion Regulation and Parenting in AD/HD and Comparison Boys: Linkages with Social Behaviors and Peer Preference

  • Sharon M. Melnick
  • Stephen P. Hinshaw


Children's emotion regulation strategies and parenting responses in a family task that elicited frustration are investigated by, comparing core attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) symptomatology, emotional reactivity, and emotional regulation in the prediction of social behaviors and peer social preference. Participants were boys, ages 6–12 years, either with AD/HD (n = 45) or without problem behaviors (comparison; n = 34). A high-aggressive subgroup of AD/HD boys showed a significantly less constructive pattern of emotional coping than did both a low-aggressive AD/HD subgroup of boys and nondiagnosed comparison boys, who did not differ. With statistical control of core AD/HD symptomatology, noncompliance in a naturalistic summer camp was predicted by boys' overall emotion regulation and three specific strategies (emotional accommodation, problem solving, negative responses) during the parent–child interaction. Emotional accommodation and negative responses to the frustration task also marginally predicted social preference at the camp. These emotion regulation variables outperformed emotional reactivity in predicting such outcomes. Some emotion-related parenting behaviors were associated with child coping in the task. We discuss the relationship of emotion regulation to core AD/HD symptomatology and emotional reactivity, and the role of parents' behaviors in influencing children's emotional responses.

Emotion regulation AD/HD aggression parent–child interactions social behaviors peer status 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Achenbach, T. (1991). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist/4-18 and 1991 Profile. Burlington: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. DSM-III-R. (1987 ed.) (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, C. A., Hinshaw, S. P., & Simmel, C. (1994). Mother-child interactions in ADHD and comparison boys: Relationships with overt and covert externalizing behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 22, 247-265.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Band, E. B., & Weisz, J. R. (1988). How to feel better when it feels bad: Children's perspectives on coping with everyday stress. Developmental Psychology, 24, 247-253.Google Scholar
  5. Barkley, R. A. (1996). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In E. Mash & R. Barkley (Eds.), Child psychopathology. (pp. 63-112). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Barkley, R. A. (1997). Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: Constructing a unifying theory of ADHD. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 65-94.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Barkley, (1998). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In E. Mash & R. Barkley (Eds.), Child psychopathology. (pp. 63-112). NewYork: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  8. Baumrind, D. (1973). The development of instrumental competence through socialization. In A. D. Pick (Ed.), Minnesota symposia on child psychology (Vol. 7). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bennet, D. S., & Shroff, J. M. (1991, May). Assessment of peer status: Categorical versus dimensional sociometric measures. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.Google Scholar
  10. Biederman, J., Newcorn, J., & Sprich, S. (1991). Comorbidity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with conduct, depressive, anxiety, and other disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 564-577.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Block, J. H., & Block, J. (1980). The role of ego-control and ego-resiliency in the organization of behavior. In W. A. Collins (Ed.), Minnesota symposia on child psychology: Vol. 13. Development of cognition, affect, and social relations (pp. 39-102). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  12. Campos, J. J., Campos, R. G., & Barett, K. C. (1989). Emergent themes in the study of emotional development and emotion regulation. Developmental Psychology, 25, 394-402.Google Scholar
  13. Carson, J. L. (1995, March). Parent reactions to children's negative affect displays. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Indianapolis, IN.Google Scholar
  14. Carson, J. L., & Parke, R. D. (1996). Reciprocal negative affect in parent-child interactions and children's peer competency. Child Development, 67, 2217-2226.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Casey, R., & Schlosser, S. (1994). Emotional responses to peer praise in children with and without diagnosed externalizing disorder. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 40, 60-81.Google Scholar
  16. Chen, W. J., Faraone, S. J., Biederman, J., & Tsuang, M. T. (1994). Diagnostic accuracy of the Child Behavior Checklist scales for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A receiver-operating characteristic analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 1017-1025.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Cole, P. M., Michel, M. K., & Teti, L. O. (1994). The development of emotion regulation and dysregulation: A clinical perspective. In N. A. Fox (Ed.), The development of emotion regulation: Biological and behavioral considerations (pp. 73-102). Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 59 (2-3, Serial No. 240).Google Scholar
  18. Crick, N., & Dodge, K. A. (1996). Social information processing mechanisms in reactive and proactive aggression. Child Development, 67, 993-1002.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Danforth, J. S., Barkley, R. A., & Stokes, T. F. (1991). Observations of parent-child interactions with hyperactive children: Research and clinical implications. Clinical Psychology Review, 11, 703-727.Google Scholar
  20. Derryberry, D., & Rothbart, M. K. (1988). Arousal, affect, and attention as components of temperament. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 958-966.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Dix, T. (1991). The affective organization of parenting: Adaptive and maladaptative processes. Psychological Bulletin, 110, 3-25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Dodge, K. A., & Somberg, D. R. (1987). Hostile attributional biases among aggressive boys are exacerbated under conditions of threats to the self. Child Development, 58, 213-234.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Eisenberg, N. et al., (1992). The relations of maternal practices and characteristics to children's vicarious emotional responsiveness. Child Development, 63, 583-602.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., Shepard, S. A., Murphy, B. C., Guthrie, I. K., Jones, S., Friedman, J., Pouline, R., & Maszk, P. (1997). Contemporaneous and longitudinal prediction of children's social functioning from regulation and emotionality. Child Development, 68, 642-664.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., Nyman, M., Bernzweig, J., & Pinuelas, A. (1994). The relations of emotionality and regulation to children's anger-related reactions. Child Development, 65, 109-128.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., Murphy, B., Maszk, P., Smith, M., & Karbon, M. (1995). The role of emotionality and regulation in children's social functioning: A longitudinal study. Child Development, 66, 1360-1384.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Fletcher, K., Fischer, M., Barkley, R., & Smallish, L. (1996). A sequential analysis of the mother-adolescent interactions of ADHD, ADHD/ODD, and normal teenagers during neutral and conflict situations. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 24, 271-297.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Fox, N. (1989). Psychophysiological correlates of emotional reactivity during the first year of life. Developmental Psychology, 25, 364-372.Google Scholar
  29. Garber, J., Braafladt, N., & Weiss, B. (1995). Affect regulation in depressed and nondepressed children and young adolescents. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 93-115.Google Scholar
  30. Gottman, J., & Katz, L. (1989). Effects of marital discord on young children's peer interaction and health. Developmental Psychology, 25, 373-381.Google Scholar
  31. Goyette, C. H., Conners, C. K., & Ulrich, R. F. (1978). Normative data on revised Conners Parent and Teacher Ratings Scales. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 6, 221-236.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Greenberg, M., Kusche, C., Cook, E. T., Quamma, J. P. (1995). Promoting emotional competence in school-aged children: The effects of the PATHS curriculum. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 117-136.Google Scholar
  33. Hinshaw, S. P. (1987). On the distinction between attentional deficits/hyperactivity and conduct problems/aggression in child psychopathology. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 443-463.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Hinshaw (1994). Attention Deficits and Hyperactivity in Children. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  35. Hinshaw, S. P. (1999). Psychosocial intervention for childhood ADHD: Etiologic and developmental themes, comorbidity, and integration with pharmacotherapy. In D. Cicchetti & S. Toth (Eds.), Rochester Symposium on Developmental Psychopathology (Vol. 10). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.Google Scholar
  36. Hinshaw, S. P., Buhrmester, D., & Heller, T. (1989). Anger control in response to verbal provocation: Effects of stimulant medication for boys with ADHD. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 17, 393-407.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Hinshaw, S. P., & Melnick, S. M. (1995). Peer relationships in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with and without comorbid aggression. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 627-647.Google Scholar
  38. Hinshaw, S. P., Simmel, C., & Heller, T. (1995). Multimethod assessment of covert antisocial behavior in children: Laboratory observations, adult ratings, and child self-report. Psychological Assessment, 7, 209-219.Google Scholar
  39. Hinshaw, S. P., Zupan, B., Simmel, C., Nigg, J. T., & Melnick, S. M. (1997). Peer status in boys with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: Prediction from overt and covert antisocial behavior, social isolation, and authoritative parenting beliefs. Child Development, 68, 880-896.Google Scholar
  40. Hooven, C., Gottman, J. M., & Katz, L. F. (1996). Parental meta-emotion structure predicts family and child outcomes. Cognition and Emotion, 9, 229-264.Google Scholar
  41. Hubbard, J. A., & Coie, J. D. (1994). Emotional correlates of social competence in children's peer relationships. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 40, 1-20.Google Scholar
  42. Jensen, P., Martin, D., & Cantwell, D. P. (1997). Comorbidity in ADHD: Implications for research, practice, and DSM-V. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 1065-1079.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Klaczynski, P. A., & Cummings, E. M. (1989). Responding to anger in aggressive and nonaggressive boys: A research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 30, 309-314.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Kopp, C. B. (1989). Regulation of distress and negative emotion: A developmental view. Developmental Psychology, 25, 343-354.Google Scholar
  45. Lahey, B., Applegate, B., McBurnett, K., et al. (1994). DSM-IV field trials for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 1673-1685.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Lahey, B., Piacentini, J., McBurnett, K., et al. (1988). Psychopathology in the parents of children with conduct disorder and hyperactivity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 163-170.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Landau, S., & Milich, R. (1988). Social communication patterns of attention-deficit-disordered boys. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 16, 69-81.Google Scholar
  48. Loeber, R., & Schmaling, K. (1985). Empirical evidence for overt and covert patterns of antisocial conduct problems: A meta analysis. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 13, 337-352.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Loney, J. (1987). Hyperactivity and aggression in the diagnosis of attention deficit disorder. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 10, pp. 99-135). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  50. McClelland, G. H., & Judd, C. M. (1993). Statistical difficulties in detecting interactions and moderator effects. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 376-390.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Melnick, S. M., & Hinshaw, S. P. (1996). What they want and what they get: The social goals of boys with ADHD and comparison boys. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 24, 169-185.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Milich, R., & Dodge, K. A. (1984). Social information processing in child psychiatry populations. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 12, 471-489.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Miller, P., & Sperry, L. (1987). The socialization of anger and aggression. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 33, 1-31.Google Scholar
  54. Nigg, J. T., & Hinshaw, S. P. (1998). Parent personality traits and psychopathology traits and psychopathology associated with antisocial behavior in childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 39, 145-159.Google Scholar
  55. Nigg, J. T., & Hinshaw, S. P., Carte, E. T., & Treuting, J. J. (1998). Neuropsychological correlates of childhood attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder: Explainable by comorbid disruptive behavior or reading problems? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107, 468-480.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Parke, R., & O'Neill, R. (1999). Social relationships across contexts: Family-peer linkages. In A. Collins & B. Laursen (Eds.), The Minnesota symposia on child psychology: Vol. 30. Relationships as developmental contexts (pp. 211-239). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  57. Parker, J. D., Sitarenios, G., & Conners, C. K. (1996). Abbreviated Conners' Rating Scales Revisited: A confirmatory factor analytic study. Journal of Attention Disorders, 1, 55-62.Google Scholar
  58. Patterson, G. R., (1982). Coercive family process. Eugene, OR: Castalia Press.Google Scholar
  59. Quiggle, N., Garber, J., Panak, W., & Dodge, K. (1992). Social information processing in aggressive and depressed children. Child Development, 63, 1305-1320.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Rossman, B. B. R. (1992). School-age children's perceptions of coping with distress: Strategies for emotion regulation and the moderation of adjustment. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 33, 1373-1397.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Shachar, R., Tannock, R., & Logan, G. (1993). Inhibitory control, impulsivity, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 13, 721-739.Google Scholar
  62. Thompson, R. A. (1994). Emotion regulation: A theme in search of a definition. In N. A. Fox (Ed.), The development of emotion regulation:Biological and behavioral considerations (pp. 25-52). Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 59 (2-3, Serial No. 240).Google Scholar
  63. Westen, D., Muderrisoglu, S., Fowler, C., Shedler, J., & Koren, D. (1997). Affect regulation and affective experience: Individual differences, group differences, and measurement using a Q-sort procedure. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 429-439.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Whalen, C. K., & Henker, B. (1985). The social worlds of hyperactive (ADDH) children. Clinical Psychology Review, 5, 447-478.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon M. Melnick
    • 1
  • Stephen P. Hinshaw
    • 2
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolThe Cambridge HospitalCambridge
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeley

Personalised recommendations