The relationship between childhood inattentive-hyperactive behavior problems and perceived family social functioning
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
First Committee Member
Carolyn S. Garwood, Committee Chair
Second Committee Member
Margaret Crosbie-Burnett, Committee Member
Inattentive-hyperactive children present numerous behavior problems including restlessness, inattention, impulsivity, failure to follow directions, and poor task completion. These difficulties have a disruptive effect on all their major social environments. This study investigated the relationships between childhood inattentive-hyperactive behavior problems and family psychosocial functioning. Specifically, it was hypothesized that this behavior problem pattern, found in children diagnosed as having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, would be significantly related to greater family conflict and lower family cohesion. Participants were the primary caretakers and teachers of 45 boys (ages 6-12) experiencing behavior problems. Each child's primary caretaker was administered the Family Environment Scale (FES) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Each child's teacher completed the Teacher Report Form of the Child Behavior Checklist (TRF).Simple correlations showed that family cohesion was significantly correlated with caretaker-reported delinquent and aggressive behavior problems, and with teacher-reported aggressive behavior problems. Simple correlations revealed that family conflict was significantly correlated with caretaker-reported delinquent, aggressive, and inattentive-hyperactive behavior problems, and with teacher-reported aggressive behavior problems. Hierarchical regression analyses were utilized to assess the combined and incremental contributions of caretaker-reported and teacher-reported inattentive-hyperactive behavior problems to family cohesion and family conflict, after controlling for the effects of comorbid aggressive and delinquent behavior problem patterns.Several major themes emerged from the study. Results indicated that neither caretaker reports nor teacher reports of inattentive-hyperactive behavior problems contributed to the variation explained in family cohesion or family conflict, after controlling for comorbid delinquent and aggressive behavior problems. Secondarily, aggressive behavior problems played the major singular and contributory role in explaining the relationships between child behavior problems and family cohesion and between child behavior problems and family conflict. Participant families were significantly less cohesive than normative families and significantly more conflictual than both normative and normative-distressed families. Finally, the strongest relationship was that between caretaker reports of delinquent and aggressive behavior problems and family conflict.
Psychology, Social; Psychology, Developmental; Psychology, Clinical; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Dunaway, Doris Elaine, "The relationship between childhood inattentive-hyperactive behavior problems and perceived family social functioning" (1995). Dissertations from ProQuest. 3335.