Peer dislike and victimisation in pathways from ADHD symptoms to depression
The following hypotheses were tested in a longitudinal, population-based study: (1) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms are associated with peer dislike and victimisation; (2) Peer dislike and victimisation increase the risk for subsequent depression; and (3) The effect of ADHD symptoms on depression is partly mediated through peer dislike and victimisation. Gender differences in mediating pathways through peer dislike and victimisation to depression were additionally explored. The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), Youth Self Report (YSR) and Teacher's Checklist of Pathology (TCP) assessed ADHD symptoms in 728 adolescents. Peer nominations were used to assess peer dislike and victimisation. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was used to assess depression. Effects of peer dislike, victimisation, and ADHD symptoms on depression were modelled using Cox regression. ADHD symptoms were associated with peer dislike (rs = 0.17, p < 0.001) and victimisation (rs = 0.11, p = 0.001). Dislike, victimisation, and ADHD symptoms increased risk for depression. Risk for depression associated with victimisation and ADHD symptoms reduced with time. Dislike and victimisation mediated 7 % of the effect of ADHD symptoms on depression. Pathways through dislike and victimisation were present in girls but not in boys. Peer dislike and victimisation explain, to a limited extent, the prospective association between ADHD and depression, particularly in girls.