Developing ADHD in preschool: Testing the dual pathway model of temperament.


The dual pathway model of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) suggests that effortful control and positive approach, or surgency, are independent pathways leading to ADHD. This model has been proven on the basis of temperament in school children, however not in preschool children. In this study we tested whether the dual pathway model of ADHD can be replicated in preschool children using temperamental measures. One hundred and nineteen children (59 girls, M-age = 4.97 years, SD = 0.96) participated in a study. Parents rated temperament on the Child Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ) and parents and teachers rated ADHD symptoms (SDQ). We found that effortful control and surgency independently predicted preschool ADHD symptoms but there were no moderations or mediations. Our findings support the dual pathway model of temperament but not compensatory models of ADHD. Ratings of temperament might be an important predictor of which child is at risk to develop clinical ADHD later on and therefore an important part of prevention.