Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Betsy Hoza


This study examined the moderating roles of inhibitory control and emotion recognition on the association between preschoolers’ ADHD behaviors and social functioning outcomes. Fifty-six preschoolers were recruited from Head Start-affiliated classrooms. Teacher-rated ADHD behaviors and objective measures of children’s inhibitory control and emotion recognition were assessed at the beginning of the school year. Teacher ratings of social functioning outcomes were obtained approximately three months after the start of school. Hierarchical regressions examined the unique and interactive effects of ADHD behaviors and each focal moderator (i.e., inhibitory control or emotion recognition) on preschoolers’ social functioning outcomes (i.e., oppositional behaviors, peer behavior problems, and social-emotional school readiness). When inhibitory control was the focal moderator, ADHD behaviors were positively associated with peer behavior problems and negatively associated with social-emotional school readiness. Inhibitory control uniquely predicted oppositional behavior problems, but this negative association was qualified by a marginal interaction such that at higher, but not lower, levels of inhibitory control, lower levels of ADHD behaviors were linked with lower oppositional behaviors. When emotion recognition was the focal predictor, the interaction between ADHD behaviors and emotion recognition predicted oppositional and peer behavior problems and marginally predicted social-emotional school readiness such that higher levels of emotion recognition appear to buffer the negative association between ADHD behaviors and adaptive social functioning. Preliminary considerations for interventions aimed at promoting preschoolers’ social functioning are discussed.



Number of Pages

55 p.