Changes in Self-Perceptions in Children With ADHD: A Longitudinal Study of Depressive Symptoms and Attributional Style

Julia D. McQuade, Betsy Hoza, Dianna Murray-Close, Daniel A. Waschbusch, Julie S. Owens

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33 Scopus citations


This study examined positive self-perceptions in relation to depressive symptoms and attributional style in a sample of 88 boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessed at baseline and at a 2- to 3-year follow-up. Change in boys' self-perceptions of competency in the scholastic, social, and behavioral domains was examined as a predictor of changes in depressive symptoms and depressive attributional style. Additionally, teacher-rated perceptions of competency at baseline and follow-up were considered as unique predictors. Results indicated that across all three domains, a reduction in children's self-perceptions of competency over time predicted greater depressive symptoms at follow-up, even when controlling for teacher-rated competency. Analyses also suggested that a reduction in self-perceptions in the social domain was the strongest relative predictor of later depressive symptoms and also predicted greater depressive attributional style at follow-up. In contrast, teacher-rated competency was not a significant predictor of depressive symptoms or attributional style at follow-up. Results support a protective function of positive self-perceptions in regards to depressive cognitions over a 2- to 3-year period for children with ADHD. However, literature suggesting risks for other negative outcomes also is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-182
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

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