Courtney Gibson


Presentation: 9:00-10:15 a.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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The relationship between problems associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and later externalizing behavior has yet to be fully understood within the context of interpersonal relationships and self-perception. This study examined whether parent-child relationship quality, deviant peer influence, and low self-perception that follow from childhood ADHP explains why children with ADHP are at elevated risk for delinquency in adolescence. Previous studies that have investigated the roles of these variables in the development of externalizing behavior. The study formally and comprehensively tested these pathways and addressed the methodological limitations of past studies on this topic. We used previously collected data from a nationally representative sample, the Children of the National Survey of Youth (CNLSY) at three time points using maternal and child reports. Data were analyzed using multilevel path analysis; parent-child relationship quality, deviant peer influence, and self-esteem, were examined as possible mediators of ADHD and delinquency. Results of this analysis failed to indicate that parent-child relationship quality, deviant peer influence, or self-perception mediate the relationship between ADHD and delinquency at the between or within level. Delinquent peer influence was directly associated with later adolescent delinquency at the between-family and within-family level. Self-perception was related to earlier ADHD at the between level and to later delinquency at the within level. These results indicate that deviant peer influence is related to later delinquency both between and within families. It also highlights that at a population level ADHD is related to lower self-perception. These results support previous research showing that lower self-perception and deviant peer influence is related to later delinquency. Further, understanding how these variables contribute to this pathway has clinical implications pertaining to preventing and managing behavior that can lead to delinquency. This can lay a foundation to facilitate positive relationships with peers to prevent later delinquency and increase self-perception.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Jackson Goodnight

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Pathways from ADHD to Delinquency: The Role of Interpersonal Relationships and Self-Perception