Longitudinal Associations between Oppositional Defiant Symptoms and Interpersonal Relationships among Chinese Children
Children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) are at increased risk for developing poor relationships with people around them, but the longitudinal links between ODD symptoms and subsequent interpersonal functioning remain unclear. In the current study, we examined the bidirectional associations between ODD symptoms and children’s relationships with parents, peers, and teachers. We included separate analyses for parent vs. teacher reports of ODD symptoms, with regard to subsequent interpersonal relationships. Participants included 256 children with ODD, recruited in China, along with their parents and teachers, assessed at three time points roughly two years apart. Parents and teachers reported child ODD symptoms at each time point, and children reported their perceptions of father– and mother–child attachment, peer relationships, and teacher–student relationships across the three time points. ODD symptoms reported either by parents or teachers predicted impairments in interpersonal functioning. Meanwhile, child interpersonal impairments with peers and teachers predicted subsequent increase in teacher-reported ODD symptoms. These findings highlight the importance of transactional models of influence—and of considering early intervention for ODD in protecting children from developing further deficits and impairments. Additionally, we discuss the perspectives of multiple informants on ODD symptoms, including their different patterns of association with subsequent interpersonal relationships.
KeywordsOppositional defiant disorder Parent–child attachment Peer relationship Teacher–student relationship Longitudinal
The study described in this report was Funded by Open Research Fund of the State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning in 2015 (CNLZD1503), and Supported by Beijing Natural Science Foundation (7162115) and The National Natural Science Foundation of China (31522028, 81571056). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of State Key Laboratory Foundation and Beijing Organization Committee. We are appreciative of the parents, children, and teachers who participated in our study and the many people who assisted in data collection.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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 was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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