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Young children with ADHD are at increased risk of depression and suicidal behaviour in adolescence

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Are young children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at increased risk for depression and suicidal ideation and attempts during adolescence?


125 children with DSM-IV ADHD at 4–6 years of age and a control group of 123 children without ADHD who were matched to the children with ADHD for gender, race/ethnicity and age, and were from similar neighbourhoods and schools.


Children not living with their biological mothers, pervasive developmental disorder, intellectual disability or seizure disorder.


Chicago, Illinois and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; time period not stated.

Prognostic factors

DSM-IV ADHD diagnosis at age 4–6 years made using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children completed by the primary care giver and the teacher-completed Disruptive Behavior Disorders Rating Scale. Children were considered to have ADHD if they met diagnostic criteria according to either teacher or parent report, and showed functional impairment in at least one setting (home/peer environments or school). Analyses were adjusted for gender, intelligence and maternal depression.


DSM-IV depressive disorders or suicidal behaviour at age 9–18, based on the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for …

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  • Source of funding National Institute of Mental Health.


  • Competing interests None.

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