Predictors of physical aggression in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
The present investigation examined factors that predict physical aggression in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stepwise, multiple regression-analyses were used to examine predictors of children's physical aggression as rated by parents at a 1-year follow-up point and by teachers at both 1- and 2-year follow-up points. Early parent and teacher ratings of verbal aggression (ie, cursing, teasing, and threatening) accounted for the greatest proportion of the variance in physical aggression ratings obtained at follow-up. None of the other predictor variables, including early ratings of physical aggression and ADHD behaviors, contributed significant additional variance beyond that accounted for by early verbal aggression ratings. Temporal and cross-informant analyses revealed that the relationship between verbal aggression and later physical aggression was situation-specific for teacher ratings but not parent ratings. Although physical aggression may emerge early in development, these data suggest that verbal aggression represents a stable, temperamental characteristic that may be of greater value than early physical aggression for predicting later physically aggressive acts.
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