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Time-dependent changes in positively biased self-perceptions of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A developmental psychopathology perspective

  • Betsy Hoza (a1), Dianna Murray-Close (a1), L. Eugene Arnold (a2), Stephen P. Hinshaw (a3), Lily Hechtman (a4) and The MTA Cooperative Group...


This study examined changes in the degree of positive bias in self-perceptions of previously diagnosed 8- to 13-year-old children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n = 513) and comparison peers (n = 284) over a 6-year period. The dynamic association between biased self-perceptions and dimensional indices of depressive symptoms and aggression also were considered. Across the 6-year time span, comparison children exhibited less bias than children with ADHD, although a normative bolstering of social self-views during early adolescence was observed. Decreases in positive biases regarding social and behavioral competence were associated with increases in depressive symptoms over time, whereas increases in levels of positively biased self-perceptions in the behavioral (but not social) domain were predictive of greater aggression over time. ADHD status moderated the dynamic association between biases and adjustment. Finally, evidence indicated that there was a bidirectional relationship between biases and aggression, whereas depressive symptoms appeared to inversely predict later bias.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Betsy Hoza, Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, 2 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, VT 05405-0134; E-mail:


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