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Emotion regulation difficulties in boys with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder and the relation with comorbid autism traits and attention deficit traits

Schoorl, Jantiene, van Rijn, Sophie, de Wied, Minet, Van Goozen, Stephanie and Swaab, Hanna 2016. Emotion regulation difficulties in boys with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder and the relation with comorbid autism traits and attention deficit traits. PLOS ONE 11 (7) , e0159323. 10.1371/journal.pone.0159323

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Abstract

Previous research has pointed towards a link between emotion dysregulation and aggressive behavior in children. Emotion regulation difficulties are not specific for children with persistent aggression problems, i.e. oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder (ODD/CD), children with other psychiatric conditions, such as autism spectrum disorders or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, have emotion regulation difficulties too. On a behavioral level some overlap exists between these disorders and comorbidity is high. The aim of this study was therefore twofold: 1) to examine emotion regulation difficulties in 65 boys with ODD/CD in comparison to a non-clinical control group (NC) of 38 boys (8–12 years) using a performance measure (Ultimatum Game), parent report and self-report, and 2) to establish to what extent emotion regulation in the ODD/CD group was correlated with severity of autism and/or attention deficit traits. Results on the Ultimatum Game showed that the ODD/CD group rejected more ambiguous offers than the NC group, which is seen as an indication of poor emotion regulation. Parents also reported that the ODD/CD group experienced more emotion regulation problems in daily life than the NC group. In contrast to these cognitive and behavioral measures, self-reports did not reveal any difference, indicating that boys with ODD/CD do not perceive themselves as having impairments in regulating their emotions. Emotional decision making within the ODD/CD group was not related to variation in autism or attention deficit traits. These results support the idea that emotion dysregulation is an important problem within ODD/CD, yet boys with ODD/CD have reduced awareness of this.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 19326203
Funders: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) grant number 056-21-010
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 August 2016
Date of Acceptance: 30 June 2016
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 12:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/93703

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