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Irritability : a study of its origin, nature and role in relation to disorder

Hudson, Kathryn J. 2010. Irritability : a study of its origin, nature and role in relation to disorder. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the origin, nature and role of irritability and disorder across the psychology and psychiatry literature. Within two empirical studies, irritability was examined at different stages of the lifespan, at two transition points. Study 1, the Starting School Study, explored irritability in preschool-aged children, in relation to clinical symptoms of disorder. The measurement confounding hypothesis was tested for the relationship between irritability and internalising and externalising symptoms. Whilst some measurement confounding was found between irritability and symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder and internalising symptoms (depression and anxiety), irritability remained significantly associated with the pure scales for both ODD and internalising symptoms. Irritability mediated the relationship between internalising and externalising symptoms, suggesting that irritability plays a role in co morbidity. In Study 2, a parallel investigation was carried out into the role of irritability and disorder in adult women at their transition to motherhood. Mothers’ irritability predicted both her conduct symptoms and emotional disorders. The mother-infant subsystem was used as the focus for exploring the potential influence of mothers’ characteristics and mental health on the infant’s irritability. Mothers’ irritability predicted infant irritability at 6 months, when mothers’ mental health was taken into account. Additionally, mothers’ irritability after childbirth mediated the relationship between mothers’ antenatal irritability and infant irritability, suggesting an intergenerational transmission of irritability between mother and infant by 6 months. The findings from these two empirical studies serve to inform the psychology and psychiatry literature about the need to define temperament constructs within studies and to assess for potential confound items across measures. The importance of irritability in relation to emotional and behavioural problems at different points of the lifespan, and the potential for intergenerational transmission of irritability from mother to child, suggests that irritability could be an early indicator for possible intervention to prevent long-term disorders

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
ISBN: 9781303252617
Funders: Medical Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2018 11:39
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/55188

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