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09.11.2017 | Original Article

Intolerance of uncertainty in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Zeitschrift:
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders
Autoren:
Colette Gramszlo, Nicholas D. Fogleman, Paul J. Rosen, Janet Woodruff-Borden

Abstract

Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) has often been studied in the context of internalizing disorders, but no studies to our knowledge have explored the relation between IU and externalizing disorders. Given the proposed link between IU and emotion regulation, the current study sought to examine levels of IU in an externalizing clinical population with known emotion regulation difficulties—attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). IU levels in this population were compared to a clinical population known to experience elevated levels of IU. Participants in present study were ninety-three children (36 anxiety disorder, 28 ADHD, 29 unaffected children) ages 7–13, who completed the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale—Short Version (IUS). Responses on the IUS were converted to total IU, prospective IU, and inhibitory IU. A linear mixed model analysis of covariance was conducted while controlling for age, sex, and ADHD medications. A significant interaction was observed between diagnostic status and IU scale. Planned contrasts indicated that children with anxiety disorders and ADHD reported significantly higher levels of IU relative to unaffected children, and children with ADHD reported comparable levels of inhibitory IU relative to children with anxiety disorders. The current results contribute to a growing literature on the link between IU and psychopathology. IU appears to be a transdiagnostic construct present among children with internalizing and externalizing disorders, and may be broadly associated with emotion regulation deficits rather than specific disorder symptoms.

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