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The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire hyperactivity-inattention subscale is more sensitive for the ADHD-combined subtype than other subtypes in 7–9-year-old school children

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Is the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) hyperactivity-inattention subscale and predictive algorithm a valid screening tool for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) phenotype in Norwegian school children?


6233 children (7–9 years old). Questionnaires were sent to teachers and parents of all 9137 children enrolled in second through fourth grades in Bergen, Norway during 2002.


Public, private and special education schools in Bergen, Norway; 2002.


SDQ hyperactivity-inattention subscale, reported by both teachers and parents. The SDQ is a 25 item broad-band questionnaire designed for parents, teachers and self-report, and covers child behaviour, emotions, relationships and symptom impact. The inattention-hyperactivity subscale consists of 5 items, and is combined with impact scores using a prediction algorithm to predict ‘unlikely’, ‘possible’ and ‘probable’ cases of ADHD.

Diagnostic standard

18-item SNAP-IV scale (teacher and parent report) for DSM-IV ADHD symptoms. ADHD phenotypes were defined as: ADHD – inattentive (ADHD-I) if both parent and teacher reported ≥6 of the nine inattention symptoms; ADHD – hyperactive/impulsive (ADHD-H/I) if both parent and teacher reported six or more of the nine hyperactive/impulsive symptoms; ADHD – combined (ADHD-Co) if one informant reported six or more symptoms on …

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  • Sources of funding Norwegian Research Council and the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Unifob Health, Bergen.


  • Competing interests None.

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