To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Childhood disruptive behaviors are highly prevalent and associated with adverse long-term social and economic outcomes. Trajectories of welfare receipt in early adulthood and the association of childhood behaviors with high welfare receipt trajectories have not been examined.
Boys (n = 1000) from low socioeconomic backgrounds were assessed by kindergarten teachers for inattention, hyperactivity, aggression, opposition, and prosociality, and prospectively followed up for 30 years. We used group-base trajectory modeling to estimate trajectories of welfare receipt from age 19–36 years using government tax return records, then examined the association between teacher-rated behaviors and trajectory group membership using mixed effects multinomial regression models.
Three trajectories of welfare receipt were identified: low (70.8%), declining (19.9%), and chronic (9.3%). The mean annual personal employment earnings (US$) for the three groups at age 35/36 years was $36 500 (s.d. = $24 000), $15 600 (s.d. = $16 275), and $1700 (s.d. = $4800), respectively. Relative to the low welfare receipt group, a unit increase in inattention (mean = 2.64; s.d. = 2.32, range = 0–8) at age 6 was associated with an increased risk of being in the chronic group (relative risk ratio; RRR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.03–1.31) and in the declining group (RRR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.03–1.23), after adjustment for child IQ and family adversity, and independent of other behaviors. Family adversity was more strongly associated with trajectories of welfare receipt than any behavior.
Boys from disadvantaged backgrounds exhibiting high inattention in kindergarten are at elevated risk of chronic welfare receipt during adulthood. Screening and support for inattentive behaviors beginning in kindergarten could have long-term social and economic benefits for individuals and society.
Impulsivity is a core symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Impulsivity is a heterogeneous concept, and a comprehensive evaluation of impulsivity dimensions is lacking in the literature. Moreover, it is unclear whether BPD patients manifest impaired cognitive functioning that might be associated with impulsivity in another patient group, such as ADHD, a frequent comorbidity of BPD.
We tested 39 patients with BPD without major psychiatric comorbidities and ADHD, 25 patients with ADHD, and 55 healthy controls (HC) using a test battery consisting of a self-report measure of impulsivity (UPPS-P questionnaire), behavioral measures of impulsivity – impulsive action (Go/NoGo task, stop signal task) and impulsive choice (delay discounting task, Iowa gambling task), and standardized measures of attention (d2 test), working memory (digit span), and executive functioning (Tower of London).
Patients with BPD and ADHD, as compared with HC, manifested increased self-reported impulsivity except sensation seeking and increased impulsive choice; patients with ADHD but not BPD showed increased impulsive action and deficits in cognitive functioning. Negative urgency was increased in BPD as compared to both HC and ADHD groups and correlated with BPD severity.
Patients with BPD without ADHD comorbidity had increased self-reported impulsivity and impulsive choice, but intact impulsive action and cognitive functioning. Controlling for ADHD comorbidity in BPD samples is necessary. Negative urgency is the most diagnostically specific impulsivity dimension in BPD.
The Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of Personality has as its main foundation a Behavioural Inhibition System (BIS), defined by anxiolytic drugs, in which high trait sensitivity should lead to internalising, anxiety, disorders. Conversely, it has been suggested that low BIS sensitivity would be a characteristic of externalising disorders. BIS output should lead to increased arousal and attention as well as behavioural inhibition. Here, therefore, we tested whether an externalising disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), involves low BIS sensitivity. Goal-Conflict-Specific Rhythmicity (GCSR) in an auditory Stop Signal Task is a right frontal EEG biomarker of BIS function. We assessed children diagnosed with ADHD-I (inattentive) or ADHD-C (combined) and healthy control groups for GCSR in: a) an initial smaller study in Dunedin, New Zealand (population ~120,000: 15 control, 10 ADHD-I, 10 ADHD-C); and b) a main larger one in Tehran, Iran (population ~9 [city]-16 [metropolis] million: 27 control, 18 ADHD-I, 21 ADHD-C). GCSR was clear in controls (particularly at 6–7 Hz) and in ADHD-C (particularly at 8–9 Hz) but was reduced in ADHD-I. Reduced attention and arousal in ADHD-I could be due, in part, to BIS dysfunction. However, hyperactivity and impulsivity in ADHD-C are unlikely to reflect reduced BIS activity. Increased GCSR frequency in ADHD-C may be due to increased input to the BIS. BIS dysfunction may contribute to some aspects of ADHD (and potentially other externalising disorders) and to some differences between the ADHD subtypes but other prefrontal systems (and, e.g. dopamine) are also important.
Objective: To investigate the effects of methylphenidate on long-term executive and neuropsychological functioning in children with attention problems following TBI, as well as the relationship between methylphenidate associated changes in lab-based neuropsychological measures of attentional control, processing speed, and executive functioning and parent- or self-report measures of everyday executive functioning. Method: 26 children aged 6–17 years, who were hospitalized for moderate-to-severe blunt head trauma 6 or more months previously, were recruited from a large children’s hospital medical center. Participants were randomized into a double-masked, placebo-controlled cross-over clinical trial. Participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and parent- and self-report ratings of everyday executive functioning at baseline, and at 4 weeks and 8 weeks following upward titration of medication to an optimal dose or while administered a placebo. Results: Methylphenidate was associated with significant improvements in processing speed, sustained attention, and both lab-based and everyday executive functioning. Significant treatment-by-period interactions were found on a task of sustained attention. Participants who were randomized to the methylphenidate condition for the first treatment period demonstrated random or erratic responding, with slower and more variable response times when given placebo during the second period. Conclusion: Results indicate that methylphenidate treatment is associated with positive outcomes in processing speed, sustained attention, and both lab-based and everyday measures of executive functioning compared to placebo group. Additionally, results suggest sustained attention worsens when discontinuing medication. (JINS, 2019, 25, 740–749)
Young people with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) are at high risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Sleep problems may play a role in this risk but their prevalence, nature and links to psychopathology and cognitive function remain undescribed in this population.
Sleep problems, psychopathology, developmental coordination and cognitive function were assessed in 140 young people with 22q11.2DS (mean age = 10.1, s.d. = 2.46) and 65 unaffected sibling controls (mean age = 10.8, s.d.SD = 2.26). Primary carers completed questionnaires screening for the children's developmental coordination and autism spectrum disorder.
Sleep problems were identified in 60% of young people with 22q11.2DS compared to 23% of sibling controls (OR 5.00, p < 0.001). Two patterns best-described sleep problems in 22q11.2DS: restless sleep and insomnia. Restless sleep was linked to increased ADHD symptoms (OR 1.16, p < 0.001) and impaired executive function (OR 0.975, p = 0.013). Both patterns were associated with elevated symptoms of anxiety disorder (restless sleep: OR 1.10, p = 0.006 and insomnia: OR 1.07, p = 0.045) and developmental coordination disorder (OR 0.968, p = 0.0023, and OR 0.955, p = 0.009). The insomnia pattern was also linked to elevated conduct disorder symptoms (OR 1.53, p = 0.020).
Clinicians and carers should be aware that sleep problems are common in 22q11.2DS and index psychiatric risk, cognitive deficits and motor coordination problems. Future studies should explore the physiology of sleep and the links with the neurodevelopment in these young people.
Early identification is important for patients with early-onset schizophrenia (SZ). Assessment of (candidate) endophenotypic markers for SZ, such as prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI), may help distinguish between the early-onset SZ and other psychiatric disorders. We explored whether PPI deficits usually seen in adult-onset SZ are present in young adolescents with either early-onset psychosis or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Twenty-five adolescents with first-episode, non-affective psychosis (FEP), 28 adolescents with ADHD and 43 healthy controls (HC), aged 12–17 years, were assessed with an auditory PPI paradigm.
No significant group differences were found in PPI. However, when the FEP group was divided into those already diagnosed with SZ (n = 13) and those without (N-SZ) (n = 12), and all four groups (SZ, N-SZ, ADHD and HC) were compared on percentage PPI in the 85/60 trials, significantly less PPI was found in patients with SZ than in the HC as well as the ADHD group. No significant group differences were found in explorative analyses on the other trial types. Additionally, startle magnitude was significantly higher in SZ than in N-SZ patients.
Young adolescents with SZ showed sensorimotor gating deficits similar to those usually found in adults with SZ and had larger startle magnitude than patients with other types of non-affective early-onset psychosis. No sensorimotor gating deficits were found in adolescents with ADHD. Our findings support the theory that deficient PPI is endophenotypic for SZ.
Self-directed speech is considered an important developmental achievement as a self-regulatory mediator of thinking and behavior. Atypical self-directed speech is often implicated in the self-regulatory challenges characteristic of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. A growing body of evidence provides snapshots across age-levels and diagnoses, often presenting conflicting results. This systematic review is undertaken to impose clarity on the nature, extent, and self-regulatory implications of self-directed speech interruption in children with developmental language disorder (DLD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A rigorous search process of relevant databases (i.e., PsychInfo, PubMed, CINAHL, ERIC) uncovered 19 relevant peer-reviewed articles that investigate self-directed speech in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Consistent across the research, children with DLD, ASD, and ADHD present with differential development and use of self-directed speech.
In its synthesis of findings, this systematic review clearly explicates the differential ontogenesis of self-directed speech in neurodevelopmental disorders and interprets the self-regulatory implications for children with DLD, ASD, and ADHD. Furthermore, the review spotlights important future research directions to better understand the mechanistic relationship between self-directed speech and self-regulation.
Previous studies of conduct disorder (CD) have reported structural and functional alterations in the limbic system. However, the white matter tracts that connect limbic regions have not been comprehensively studied. The uncinate fasciculus (UF), a tract connecting limbic to prefrontal regions, has been implicated in CD. However, CD-related alterations in other limbic tracts, such as the cingulum and the fornix, have not been investigated. Furthermore, few studies have examined the influence of sex and none have been adequately powered to test whether the relationship between CD and structural connectivity differs by sex. We examined whether adolescent males and females with CD exhibit differences in structural connectivity compared with typically developing controls.
We acquired diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging data from 101 adolescents with CD (52 females) and 99 controls (50 females). Data were processed for deterministic spherical deconvolution tractography. Virtual dissections of the UF, the three subdivisions of the cingulum [retrosplenial cingulum (RSC), parahippocampal and subgenual cingulum], and the fornix were performed and measures of fractional anisotropy (FA) and hindrance-modulated orientational anisotropy (HMOA) were analysed.
The CD group had lower FA and HMOA in the right RSC tract relative to controls. Importantly, these effects were moderated by sex – males with CD significantly lower FA compared to male controls, whereas CD and control females did not differ.
Our results highlight the importance of considering sex when studying the neurobiological basis of CD. Sex differences in RSC connectivity may contribute to sex differences in the clinical presentation of CD.
Early institutional rearing is associated with increased risk for subsequent peer relationship difficulties, but the underlying mechanisms have not been identified. Friendship characteristics, social behaviors with peers, normed assessments of social problems, and social cue use were assessed in 142 children (mean age = 10.06, SD = 2.02; range 7–13 years), of whom 67 were previously institutionalized (PI), and 75 were raised by their biological families. Anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, often elevated among PI children, were examined as potential mediators of PI status and baseline social functioning and longitudinal follow-ups (2 and 4 years later). Twenty-seven percent of PI children fell above the Child Behavior Checklist Social Problems cutoff. An examination of specific social behaviors with peers indicated that PI and comparison children did not differ in empathic concern or peer social approach, though parents were more likely to endorse aggression/overarousal as a reason that PI children might struggle with friendships. Comparison children outperformed PI children in computerized testing of social cue use learning. Finally, across these measures, social difficulties exhibited in the PI group were mediated by ADHD symptoms with predicted social problems assessed 4 years later. These findings show that, when PI children struggle with friendships, mechanisms involving attention and behavior regulation are likely contributors.
Objectives: Reading aloud (vocal production) enhances memory relative to reading silently, the Production Effect (PE) in memory. Thus, vocalization has been suggested as a mnemonic device. The current study tested the PE in a sample of adults with ADHD and in a control sample, evaluating verbal learning. Methods: Twenty adults with ADHD and 21 controls learned a list of words, half by reading aloud and half by reading silently. Free recall test followed. The participants with ADHD performed the task twice (in two different sessions in a counterbalanced order), before self-administration of a single dose of methylphenidate (MPH) and 60-min after dosage. Results: PEs were found for all groups. Memory was better for the controls than for the ADHD group (with or without MPH). In the ADHD group, recall rates and the PE were higher with than without MPH. Conclusions: These results suggest that vocalization yields a larger memory gain with MPH. Possibly, MPH enables the ADHD participants to better shift their attention to the aloud words, enhancing their retrieval rates. Theoretically, these findings stress the role of attention in the PE. (JINS, 2019, 25, 230–235)
Experts have raised concerns that oxytocin for labor induction and augmentation may have detrimental effects on the neurodevelopment of children. To investigate whether there is the reason for concern, we reviewed and evaluated the available evidence by searching databases with no language or date restrictions up to 9 September 2018. We included English-language studies reporting results on the association between perinatal oxytocin exposure and any cognitive impairment, psychiatric symptoms or disorders in childhood. We assessed the quality of studies using the Newcastle–Ottawa Quality Assessment Scales. Independent risk estimates were pooled using random-effects meta-analyses when at least two independent datasets provided data on the same symptom or disorder. Otherwise, we provided narrative summaries. Two studies examined cognitive impairment, one examined problem behavior, three examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and seven focused on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We provided narrative summaries of the studies on cognitive impairment. For ADHD, the pooled risk estimate was 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77–1.78, based on a pooled sample size of 5 47 278 offspring. For ASD, the pooled risk estimate was 1.10; 95% CI 1.04–1.17, based on 8 87 470 offspring. Conclusions that perinatal oxytocin increases the risks of neurodevelopmental problems are premature. Observational studies of low to high quality comprise the evidence-base, and confounding, especially by the genetic or environmental vulnerability, remains an issue. Current evidence is insufficient to justify modifying obstetric guidelines for the use of oxytocin, which state that it should only be used when clinically indicated.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
We tested the hypothesis that high activity levels in infancy would predict self-regulatory problems and later symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a longitudinal study of British families (N = 321). Infants’ activity levels were assessed at 6 months, using 3 informants’ reports from the Infant Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ) and ActiGraphs during baseline, attention, and restraint tasks. At a mean of 33 months, the children were assessed on self-regulatory tasks; at a mean of 36 months, 3 informants reported symptoms of ADHD. At a mean of 7.0 years, the children were assessed on executive function tasks; 3 informants reported on the child's symptoms of ADHD; and diagnoses of disorder were obtained using the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment. Informants’ reports of high activity levels at 6 months predicted ADHD symptoms in early childhood and diagnoses of ADHD with clinical impairment at age 7. The IBQ activity scale was also associated with the children's later performance on self-regulation tasks in early and middle childhood. Activity level in infancy reflects normal variation and is not a sign of psychopathology; however, these findings suggest that further study of the correlates of high activity level in infancy may help identify those children most at risk for disorder.
Facilitating the learning and engagement of students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in any classroom can be challenging. In this study, we examined the use of online daily behaviour report card (DBRC) to decrease off-task behaviour in students with ADHD who were studying at a public school for at-risk youths in Singapore. Using a multiple baseline design across participants, the study involved 3 adolescents with ADHD who exhibited a high level of off-task behaviour and had received numerous office discipline referrals. Aside from the involvement of classroom teachers, the online DBRC intervention was modified to involve an additional school mentor who supported the parents in monitoring and guiding the students. Results indicated that the online DBRC intervention had been effective in decreasing off-task behaviour in the 3 students. Implications of findings and directions for future studies are discussed.
It is crucial to clarify the structure of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology in all age groups to determine how to best conceptualize this disorder across the lifespan. We tested the ADHD factor structure across adulthood and investigated independent associations with executive functions.
Data from 645 adults aged 18–59 and 233 adults aged 60–85 were drawn from the Nathan Kline Institute Rockland Sample. Participants completed the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scale and tests of executive functioning. Invariance of the ADHD factor structure was investigated using confirmatory factor analyses. Associations with cognition were explored using multiple linear regression.
Results confirmed a bifactor model with 3 specific factors (inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity). Factor loadings and item intercepts were invariant across ages. Levels of hyperactivity and impulsivity were lower in older adults. Inattentive symptoms in young adults were positively related to cognitive flexibility. In older adults, ADHD symptoms predicted poorer working memory.
ADHD symptoms manifest similarly across adulthood. The lack of robust associations between ADHD symptomatology and executive functions raises concerns about the usefulness of neuropsychological measures in diagnosing adult ADHD. These results support the validity of the ADHD concept in older adults but suggest a need for age-appropriate normative criteria.
The prevalence of sleep problems among pregnant women is over 50%, and daytime sleepiness is among the most common sleep problems. Previous studies have associated antenatal sleep problems with adverse maternal health and neonatal outcomes, but the consequences of antenatal sleep problems and particularly daytime sleepiness on child psychological development have not been assessed prospectively.
In this prospective cohort study including 111 mother-child dyads, we examined the associations of maternal daytime sleepiness during pregnancy, assessed at 17 and 28 weeks of gestation using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, with child neuropsychiatric problems and neuropsychological development, assessed with mother-rated questionnaires and individually administered neuropsychological tests, at child age 2.6–5.7 years (mean = 4.3 years).
Independently of sociodemographic and perinatal covariates and maternal depressive and anxiety symptoms during and/or after pregnancy, maternal antenatal daytime sleepiness was associated with increased total [unstandardized regression coefficient (B) = 0.25 standard deviation (s.d.) units; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01–0.48] and internalizing (B = 0.25 s.d.s: 95% CI 0.01–0.49) psychiatric problems and ADHD symptoms (B = 0.27 s.d.s: 95% CI 0.04–0.50) in children, and with poorer executive function, particularly in the areas of attention, working memory and inhibitory control (B = −0.39 s.d.s: 95% CI −0.69 to −0.10).
Maternal antenatal daytime sleepiness carries adverse consequences for offspring psychological development. The assessment of sleep problems may be an important addition to standard antenatal care.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
A recent family study of young adult males suggests a shared familial liability between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and high body mass index (BMI), and a genome-wide meta-analysis reported a genetic correlation of 0.26 between ADHD and BMI. To date, it is unclear whether these findings generalize to the relationship between ADHD and clinically diagnosed obesity.
By linking the Swedish national registers, we identified 25 38 127 individuals born between 1973 and 2000, together with their siblings and cousins. The risk of clinical obesity in individuals with ADHD was compared with the risk in those without ADHD. The relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to the association between ADHD and clinical obesity were examined via assessment of the familial co-aggregation of the two conditions and quantitative genetic analysis.
Individuals with ADHD were at an increased risk of clinical obesity compared with those without (risk difference 3.73%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.55–3.90%; risk ratio 3.05, 95% CI 2.95–3.15). Familial co-aggregation of ADHD and clinical obesity was detected and the strength of the co-aggregation decreased by decreasing genetic relatedness. The correlation between the liabilities to ADHD and clinical obesity can be entirely attributed to their genetic correlation (rg 0.30, 95% CI 0.17–0.44).
The association between ADHD and clinical obesity in adolescence and young adulthood can be entirely attributed to genetic underpinnings shared by the two conditions. Children with ADHD should be monitored for weight gain so that preventive measures can be taken for those on a suboptimal trajectory.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a fact of culture rather than a fact of nature. For a diagnosis like ADHD to be scientifically useful you need to show that the concept leads to advancement of knowledge around causes. For it to be clinically useful, you need to show that use of the concept leads to improved clinical outcomes. As neither can be convincingly demonstrated, ADHD is unlikely to be either scientifically or clinically useful and the concept is well past its use-by date.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with mental health problems and functional impairment across many domains. However, how the longitudinal course of ADHD affects later functioning remains unclear.
We aimed to disentangle how ADHD developmental patterns are associated with young adult functioning.
The Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study is a population-based cohort of 2232 twins born in England and Wales in 1994–1995. We assessed ADHD in childhood at ages 5, 7, 10 and 12 years and in young adulthood at age 18 years. We examined three developmental patterns of ADHD from childhood to young adulthood – remitted, persistent and late-onset ADHD – and compared these groups with one another and with non-ADHD controls on functioning at age 18 years. We additionally tested whether group differences were attributable to childhood IQ, childhood conduct disorder or familial factors shared between twins.
Compared with individuals without ADHD, those with remitted ADHD showed poorer physical health and socioeconomic outcomes in young adulthood. Individuals with persistent or late-onset ADHD showed poorer functioning across all domains, including mental health, substance misuse, psychosocial, physical health and socioeconomic outcomes. Overall, these associations were not explained by childhood IQ, childhood conduct disorder or shared familial factors.
Long-term associations of childhood ADHD with adverse physical health and socioeconomic outcomes underscore the need for early intervention. Young adult ADHD showed stronger associations with poorer mental health, substance misuse and psychosocial outcomes, emphasising the importance of identifying and treating adults with ADHD.