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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Types of aggression used by girls with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Ohan, Jeneva Lee


This thesis was designed to investigate differences in aggression between girls with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Forty girls with ADHD and 43 girls without ADHD aged 9- to 12- years and their mothers and teachers participated. A multiassessment methodology was used to investigate these differences, employing mothers' reports, teachers' reports, and a laboratory aggression analogue task (a computer game involving simulated girls in other rooms). The results indicated that mothers and teachers saw girls with ADHD as having much higher levels of all types of aggression assessed, including overt, relational, proactive, and reactive aggression, than girls in the control group. On the lab task, girls with ADHD used a strategy that involved more threatening and bragging comments, and social exclusions of their co-players. Expected differences on some of the lab task measures did not emerge. Also, according to mothers, teachers, and the results from the lab task, girls with ADHD were significantly less prosocial than girls in the control group. Where significant group differences had been found, follow-up tests generally indicated that girls with ADHD and comorbid oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD) were more aggressive than girls in the control group, with girls with ADHD but not ODD falling in between. In sum, these results indicate substantial cause for concern for the concurrent and future psychosocial well-being of girls with ADHD.

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