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Does the cortisol response to stress mediate the link between expressed emotion and oppositional behavior in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity-Disorder (ADHD)?

Christiansen, Hanna, Oades, Robert D., Psychogiou, Lamprini, Hauffa, Berthold and Sonuga-Barke, Edmund (2010) Does the cortisol response to stress mediate the link between expressed emotion and oppositional behavior in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity-Disorder (ADHD)? Behavioral and Brain Functions, 6, p. 45. (doi:10.1186/1744-9081-6-45).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Expressed Emotions (EE) are associated with oppositional behavior (OPB) in children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). EE has been linked to altered stress responses in some disorders, but ADHD has not been studied. We test the hypothesis that OPB in ADHD is mediated by altered stress-related cortisol reactivity to EE.

Methods: Two groups of children (with/without ADHD) and their respective parents wererandomly assigned to two different conditions with/without negative emotion and participated in an emotion provocation task. Parents’ EE, their ratings of their children’s OPB and theirchildren’s salivary cortisol levels were measured.

Results: Low parental warmth was associated with OPB in ADHD. High levels of parental EE elicited a larger cortisol response. Stress-related cortisol reactivity mediated the EE-OPB link for all children. This highlights the general importance of parent-child interactions on externalizing behavior problems.

Conclusion: High EE is a salient stressor for ADHD children that leads to increased levels of cortisol and OPB. The development of OPB might be mediated by the stress-response to high EE.

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More information

Published date: 15 July 2010

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 160775
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/160775
ISSN: 1744-9081
PURE UUID: 605e6a7f-0658-49bb-9b31-14fed44f300a

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Date deposited: 19 Jul 2010 15:11
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:34

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Contributors

Author: Hanna Christiansen
Author: Robert D. Oades
Author: Lamprini Psychogiou
Author: Berthold Hauffa
Author: Edmund Sonuga-Barke

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