Is Emotional Lability Distinct From "Angry/Irritable Mood," "Negative Affect," or Other Subdimensions of Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children With ADHD?

Wai Chen, L Liu, S Vitorator, L Sun, XY Yu, ZM Wu, L Yang, YF Wang

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Background: Emotional lability (EL) and oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) frequently co-occur with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Their co-concurrence could arise from their construct overlaps; in particular, some
ODD items also describe mood and emotional dyscontrol behaviours, suggestive of item similarity on face validity.

Objectives: This study evaluates whether EL merely represents the negative ‘mood/affect’ component of ODD or forms a distinct dimension.

Methods: EL and ODD data from 1317 ADHD subjects recruited from the child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of Peking University Sixth Hospital/Institute of Mental Health were analyzed by exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses.

Results: (1) Within the ADHD sample of 1317 subjects, 39.4% had ODD and 42.6% had EL; 16.6% had ODD only, 19.7% had EL only and 22.9% expressed both. (2) EL forms a separate and distinct dimension from the ‘mood/affect’
and other subdimensions of ODD whether classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition (DSM-5) model (i.e. ‘angry/irritable’) or by the model proposed by Burke and colleagues (i.e. ‘negative affect’). (3) When juxtaposed by EL items, ODD was best decomposed into two dimensions which are designated as ‘negativity’ (i.e. ‘angry’ and ‘touchy’ items) and ‘oppositional/provocative’ (i.e. the remaining six items). (4) The empirically derived three-factor structure (EL, negativity and oppositional/provocative behaviors) was invariant across gender.

Conclusions: EL is distinct from ODD and from its ‘mood/affect’ subdimensions (i.e. ‘angry/irritable’ or ‘negative affect’). In line with emerging evidence suggestive of EL as an independent construct with specific concurrent correlates
and predictive validity, our findings provide further factorial validity evidence for EL as a separate construct from ODD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages28-29
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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