Separating the Domains of Oppositional Behavior: Comparing Latent Models of the Conners' Oppositional Subscale

Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families at the University of Vermont
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.26). 02/2013; 52(2):172-183.e8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2012.10.005
Source: PubMed


Although oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is usually considered the mildest of the disruptive behavior disorders, it is a key factor in predicting young adult anxiety and depression and is distinguishable from normal childhood behavior. In an effort to understand possible subsets of oppositional defiant behavior (ODB) that may differentially predict outcome, we used latent class analysis of mother report on the Conners' Parent Rating Scales Revised Short Forms (CPRS-R:S).
Data were obtained from mother report for Dutch twins (7 years old, n = 7,597; 10 years old, n = 6,548; and 12 years old, n = 5,717) from the Netherlands Twin Registry. Samples partially overlapped at ages 7 and 10 years (19% overlapping) and at ages 10 and 12 years (30% overlapping), but not at ages 7 and 12 years. Oppositional defiant behavior was measured using the six-item Oppositional subscale of the CPRS-R:S. Multilevel LCA with robust standard error estimates was performed using the Latent Gold program to control for twin-twin dependence in the data. Class assignment across ages was determined and an estimate of heritability for each class was calculated. Comparisons with maternal report Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) scores were examined using linear mixed models at each age, corrected for multiple comparisons.
The LCA identified an optimal solution of four classes across age groups. Class 1 was associated with no or low symptom endorsement (69-75% of the children); class 2 was characterized by defiance (11-12%); class 3 was characterized by irritability (9-11%); and class 4 was associated with elevated scores on all symptoms (5-8%). Odds ratios for twins being in the same class at each successive age point were higher within classes across ages than between classes. Heritability within the two "intermediate" classes was nearly as high as for the class with all symptoms, except for boys at age 12. Children in the Irritable class were more likely to have mood symptoms on the CBCL scales than children in the Defiant class but demonstrated similar scores on aggression and externalizing scales. Children in the All Symptoms class were higher in both internalizing and externalizing scales and subscales.
The LCA indicates four distinct latent classes of oppositional defiant behavior, in which the distinguishing feature between the two intermediate classes (classes 2 and 3) is the level of irritability and defiance. Implications for the longitudinal course of these symptoms, association with other disorders, and genetics are discussed.

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    • "Two studies based on clinically referred children and adolescents reported a high symptoms group, a low symptoms group and an intermediate symptoms group characterized by irritability , but not by defiance (Aebi et al., 2015; Burke, 2012). In contrast, studies of community samples found four subtypes of children and adolescents according to their ODD symptom profiles, namely, youths with (1) irritability only, (2) defiance only, (3) neither irritability nor defiance and (4) both irritability and defiance (Althoff, Kuny-Slock, Verhulst, Hudziak , & van der Ende, 2014; Kuny et al., 2013). As these groups differ regarding comorbidity, course and outcomes, this distinction may become important for clinical decision-making and treatment response. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In adolescent offenders, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and its dimensions/subtypes have been frequently ignored due to the stronger focus on criminal behaviours. The revised criteria of the DSM-5 now allow diagnosing ODD in older youths independent of conduct disorder (CD). This study aimed at analysing ODD dimensions/subtypes and their relation to suicidality, comorbid psychiatric disorders, and criminal behaviours after release from detention in a sample of detained male adolescents. Methods: Suicidality and psychiatric disorders (including ODD symptoms) were assessed in a consecutive sample of 158 male adolescents (Mage = 16.89 years) from the Zurich Juvenile Detention Centre. Based on previous research findings, an irritable ODD dimension and a defiant/vindictive ODD dimension based on ODD symptoms were defined. Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was used to identify distinct subtypes of adolescent offenders according to their ODD symptom profiles. Logistic regression and Cox regression were used to analyse the relations of ODD dimensions/ODD subtypes to comorbid psychopathology and criminal reoffenses from official data. Results: The ODD-irritable dimension, but not the ODD defiant/vindictive dimension predicted comorbid anxiety, suicidality and violent reoffending. LCA identified four subtypes, namely, a no-ODD subtype, a severe ODD subtype and two moderate ODD subtypes with either defiant or irritable symptoms. The irritable ODD subtype and the severe ODD subtype were related to suicidality and comorbid affective/anxiety disorders. The irritable ODD subtype was the strongest predictor of criminal (violent) reoffending even when controlling for CD. Conclusions: The present findings confirm the presence of ODD dimensions/subtypes in a highly disturbed adolescent offender sample. Irritable youths were at risk of suicide and persistent criminal behaviours. Due to the severe consequences of irritability, a standardized assessment approach and a specific treatment is needed in prison to prevent suicide among the detainees and further harm to the society. As defined in the DSM-5, the present findings confirm the validity of ODD and ODD dimensions/subtypes as a diagnostic category among older youths.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
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    • "Further studies have attempted to identify discrete classes of children and adolescents according to their oppositional behavior profiles. Consistent with previous research [Kuny et al., 2013; Althoff et al., 2014], LCA in the present study revealed a low symptom endorsement type, an irritable type, and a severe type with elevated scores on all symptoms. In contrast to these previous findings, we additionally found a moderate oppositional type with intermediate scores on all symptoms, but not a specific defiant/vindictive type. "
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    ABSTRACT: Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a frequent psychiatric disorder seen in children and adolescents with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ODD is also a common antecedent to both affective disorders and aggressive behaviors. Although the heritability of ODD has been estimated to be around 0.60, there has been little research into the molecular genetics of ODD. The present study examined the association of irritable and defiant/vindictive dimensions and categorical subtypes of ODD (based on latent class analyses) with previously described specific polymorphisms (DRD4 exon3 VNTR, 5-HTTLPR, and seven OXTR SNPs) as well as with dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin genes and pathways in a clinical sample of children and adolescents with ADHD. In addition, we performed a multivariate genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the aforementioned ODD dimensions and subtypes. Apart from adjusting the analyses for age and sex, we controlled for “parental ability to cope with disruptive behavior.” None of the hypothesis-driven analyses revealed a significant association with ODD dimensions and subtypes. Inadequate parenting behavior was significantly associated with all ODD dimensions and subtypes, most strongly with defiant/vindictive behaviors. In addition, the GWAS did not result in genome-wide significant findings but bioinformatics and literature analyses revealed that the proteins encoded by 28 of the 53 top-ranked genes functionally interact in a molecular landscape centered around Beta-catenin signaling and involved in the regulation of neurite outgrowth. Our findings provide new insights into the molecular basis of ODD and inform future genetic studies of oppositional behavior.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Emotional lability is recognized as an associated feature of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the degree of phenotypic and etiologic overlap between emotional lability and the ADHD dimensions of hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention remains unclear. The present study examines these associations in a large, community twin sample. Structural equation models were fit to data from 1,920 child and adolescent twin pairs (age range, 5-18 years). Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity (HI) and inattention (IA) were assessed using a modified version of the DuPaul rating scale, completed by parents. Symptoms of emotional lability (EL) were assessed using the parent-rated Conners 10-item scale. There were moderate to strong phenotypic correlations between HI, IA, and EL. Multivariate twin modeling revealed that a common pathway model best accounted for the covariance among these dimensions, represented by a highly heritable latent factor. Ad hoc analyses confirmed that all additive genetic influences on HI, IA, and EL were shared, and identified a significantly stronger association of EL with the latent ADHD factor in older than in younger individuals. Emotional lability was phenotypically and genetically associated with hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention in children and adolescents. The finding that a single, heritable, latent factor accounted for covariation among these phenotypes indicates that their co-occurrence is primarily the result of overlapping genetic effects. These data support the hypothesis that emotional lability is etiologically relevant to the core ADHD phenotype, and that it should be targeted in assessment and treatment in clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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