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Children with ADHD at increased risk of adolescent ADHD, ODD, anxiety or depression and functional impairment

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What are the adolescent outcomes of childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?


169 adolescents who had been identified as being at high risk of ADHD in childhood (94 met full Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) ADHD criteria, 75 met subthreshold criteria), and a matched group of 163 peers who had been identified as being at low risk of ADHD in childhood (matched for gender, race, poverty status and age). Children were defined as being at high risk if they were diagnosed or being treated for ADHD, or had behaviour problems and elevated scores (1.5 SD above the norm) on the Swanson, Nolan and Pelham IV ADHD screening measure.


One school in North Florida, USA; data collected between 1998 and 2008.

Prognostic factors

ADHD in childhood. High-risk children were given an ADHD diagnostic assessment at waves 2, 4 and 6, and low-risk children at wave 6 only (Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, version 4 used at wave 2; Kiddie-SADS-Present and Lifetime Version at subsequent waves).


Psychopathology (Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale (VADPRS)); functioning (Columbia Impairment Scale score >14 indicated functional impairment); quality of life (Child Health Questionnaire or Youth Quality of Life Questionnaire; low …

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  • Source of funding National Institute of Mental Health.


  • Competing interests None.

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