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.
The Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With ADHD (MTA) was a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) cooperative agreement randomized clinical trial, which was then continued under an NIMH contract as a follow-up study. Collaborators from the National Institute of Mental Health: Benedetto Vitiello (Child & Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Interventions Research Branch), Joanne B. Severe (Clinical Trials Operations and Biostatistics Unit, Division of Services and Intervention Research), Peter S. Jensen (currently at REACH Institute & Mayo Clinic), L. Eugene Arnold (currently at Ohio State University), and Kimberly Hoagwood (currently at Columbia); previous contributors from NIMH to the early phases: John Richters (currently at National Institute of Nursing Research) and Donald Vereen (currently at National Institute on Drug Abuse); Principal Investigators (PIs) and coinvestigators from University of California, Berkeley or San Francisco: Stephen P. Hinshaw (Berkeley) and Glen R. Elliott (San Francisco); Duke University: Karen C. Wells and Jeffery Epstein; previous Duke contributors to early phases: C. Keith Conners (former PI) and John March; University of California, Irvine: James Swanson and Timothy Wigal; previous contributor from University of California, Los Angeles, to the early phases: Dennis P. Cantwell (deceased); Long Island Jewish Medical Center and New York University: Howard B. Abikoff; Montreal Children's Hospital and McGill University: Lily Hechtman; New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, and Mount Sinai Medical Center: Laurence L. Greenhill (Columbia) and Jeffrey H. Newcorn (Mount Sinai School of Medicine); University of Pittsburgh: Brooke Molina, Betsy Hoza (currently at University of Vermont), and William E. Pelham (PI for early phases, currently at State University of New York, Buffalo); follow-up phase statistical collaborators: Robert D. Gibbons (University of Illinois, Chicago), Sue Marcus (Mt. Sinai College of Medicine), and Kwan Hur (University of Illinois, Chicago); original study statistical and design consultant: Helena C. Kraemer (Stanford University); collaborator from the Office of Special Education Programs and US Department of Education: Thomas Hanley; collaborator from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Department of Justice: Karen Stern. Data analysis and preparation of this article was supported by Grant MH65899 from the National Institute of Mental Health (to B.H.). The data used in the current article were drawn from a larger study conducted by the MTA Cooperative Group and supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Education (Grants U01MH50440, U01MH50447, U01MH50453, U01MH50454, U01MH50461, and U01MH50467; Contracts: N01MH12004, N01MH12007, N01MH12008, N01MH12009, N01MH12010, N01MH12011, and N01MH12012). The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NIMH, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Department of Justice, or the Department of Education.