Links between within-person fluctuations in hyperactivity/attention problems and subsequent conduct problems

Anne B. Arnett, Bruce F. Pennington, Jami F. Young, Benjamin L. Hankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The onset of hyperactivity/impulsivity and attention problems (HAP) is typically younger than that of conduct problems (CP), and some research supports a directional relation wherein HAP precedes CP. Studies have tested this theory using between-person and between-group comparisons, with conflicting results. In contrast, prior research has not examined the effects of within-person fluctuations in HAP on CP. Method This study tested the hypothesis that within-person variation in HAP would positively predict subsequent within-person variation in CP, in two population samples of youth (N = 620) who participated in identical methods of assessment over the course of 30 months. Three-level, hierarchical models were used to test for within-person, longitudinal associations between HAP and CP, as well as moderating effects of between-person and between-family demographics. Results We found a small but significant association in the expected direction for older youth, but the opposite effect in younger and non-Caucasian youth. These results were replicated across both samples. Conclusions The process by which early HAP relates to later CP may vary by age and racial identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • conduct problems
  • disruptive behavior
  • longitudinal
  • within-person

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Links between within-person fluctuations in hyperactivity/attention problems and subsequent conduct problems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this