The Relationship of Impulsivity-Inattention and Verbal Ability to Overt and Covert Antisocial Behaviors in Children

McEachern, Amber; Snyder, James
August 2012
Journal of Youth & Adolescence;Aug2012, Vol. 41 Issue 8, p984
Academic Journal
Research has linked many risk factors in childhood and early adolescence to antisocial behaviors in later adolescence and early adulthood; however, less attention has focused on the interaction among factors in the prediction of distinct forms of antisocial behaviors. This study investigated the additive and synergistic association of inattention-impulsivity and verbal ability with overt and covert antisocial behaviors using a high risk community sample of 270 (49.8% female) children. Multiple regression analyses indicated kindergarten inattention-impulsivity was significantly related to overt and covert antisocial behaviors and the interaction of inattention-impulsivity and verbal ability significantly predicted covert but not overt antisocial behaviors during kindergarten and first grade. Kindergarten verbal ability did not buffer the association of impulsivity-inattention with covert antisocial behavior; rather higher verbal ability was associated with increased risk for covert antisocial behavior in the presence of high levels of impulsivity-inattention. The association of inattention-impulsivity with higher levels of overt and covert antisocial behavior begins during childhood, and may set off developmental trajectories associated with the acceleration of antisocial behavior in adolescence.


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