Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

DSM-5 disruptive mood dysregulation disorder: correlates and predictors in young children

L. R. Doughertya1 c1, V. C. Smitha1, S. J. Bufferda2, G. A. Carlsona3, A. Stringarisa4, E. Leibenlufta5 and D. N. Kleina3a6

a1 Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

a2 Department of Psychology, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA, USA

a3 Department of Psychiatry, Stony Brook School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA

a4 Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK

a5 Bipolar Spectrum Disorders, Emotion and Development Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

a6 Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA

Abstract

Background Despite the inclusion of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) in DSM-5, little empirical data exist on the disorder. We estimated rates, co-morbidity, correlates and early childhood predictors of DMDD in a community sample of 6-year-olds.

Method DMDD was assessed in 6-year-old children (n = 462) using a parent-reported structured clinical interview. Age 6 years correlates and age 3 years predictors were drawn from six domains: demographics; child psychopathology, functioning, and temperament; parental psychopathology; and the psychosocial environment.

Results The 3-month prevalence rate for DMDD was 8.2% (n = 38). DMDD occurred with an emotional or behavioral disorder in 60.5% of these children. At age 6 years, concurrent bivariate analyses revealed associations between DMDD and depression, oppositional defiant disorder, the Child Behavior Checklist – Dysregulation Profile, functional impairment, poorer peer functioning, child temperament (higher surgency and negative emotional intensity and lower effortful control), and lower parental support and marital satisfaction. The age 3 years predictors of DMDD at age 6 years included child attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, the Child Behavior Checklist – Dysregulation Profile, poorer peer functioning, child temperament (higher child surgency and negative emotional intensity and lower effortful control), parental lifetime substance use disorder and higher parental hostility.

Conclusions A number of children met DSM-5 criteria for DMDD, and the diagnosis was associated with numerous concurrent and predictive indicators of emotional and behavioral dysregulation and poor functioning.

(Received August 18 2013)

(Revised November 26 2013)

(Accepted December 07 2013)

(Online publication January 20 2014)

Key words

  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder;
  • early childhood;
  • predictors

Correspondence

c1 Address for correspondence: L. R. Dougherty, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA. (Email: ldougher@umd.edu)

Metrics