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Mediating Factors in Within-Person Developmental Cascades of Externalising, Internalising and ADHD Symptoms in Childhood.

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Speyer, Lydia Gabriela  ORCID logo
Obsuth, Ingrid 
Ribeaud, Denis 
Eisner, Manuel 
Luciano, Michelle 


Previous studies have offered evidence for peer problems and academic achievement as mediators in developmental cascades from externalising to internalising problems, and from ADHD symptoms to both internalising and externalising problems. However, these mediators have not been found to fully account for these cascades, indicating that there may be additional mediators involved. This study investigated the role of harsh parenting and parental involvement alongside academic achievement and peer problems in mediating within-person developmental cascades from externalising to internalising problems and from ADHD symptoms to internalising and externalising problems using autoregressive latent trajectory models with structured residuals. Models were fit for parent- and teacher-reports on children's psychosocial development as measured by the Social Behaviour Questionnaire (SBQ) collected over ages 7, 9, and 11 in an ethnically diverse Swiss longitudinal cohort study (z-proso; N = 1387, 51% male). Results indicated that, when appropriately disentangling within- from between-person effects, none of the considered factors acted as significant mediators in longitudinal within-person relations between ADHD, internalising and externalising problems; hence, mediating mechanisms in developmental cascades remain to be identified.


Funder: Jacobs Foundation; doi:

Funder: Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung; doi:


ADHD Symptoms, Developmental cascades, Externalising, Internalising, z-proso, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Child, Child Behavior Disorders, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mediation Analysis, Parenting

Journal Title

Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
University of Edinburgh (Principal’s Careers Development Scholarship, Data Driven Innovation Initiative)
Economic and Social Research Council (ES/N018877/1)
Baily Thomas Charitable Fund (TRUST/VC/AC/SG/469207686)
H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (No.813546)