Childhood Symptoms of ADHD Overrule Comorbidity in Relation to Psychosocial Outcome at Age 15: A Longitudinal Study.
Norén Selinus E., Molero Y., Lichtenstein P., Larson T., Lundström S., Anckarsäter H., Gumpert CH.
OBJECTIVE: Neurodevelopmental problems (NDPs) may influence the transition from childhood to adolescence. Our aim was to study long-term psychosocial outcomes of NDPs, focusing on ADHD. METHOD: Data was collected through a telephone interview with parents of twins at ages 9 or 12 years. NDP screen-positive children were clinically assessed at age 15; N = 450. Psychosocial outcome concerning peers, school, internalizing problems, antisocial behavior, alcohol misuse, drug misuse, and impaired daily functioning was examined. RESULTS: Even after controlling for other NDP comorbidity, screen-positivity for ADHD doubled or tripled the odds of later psychosocial problems. When controlling for parental education level, the significant effect of ADHD remained only for antisocial behavior and impaired daily functioning. CONCLUSIONS: Signs of NDPs as well as other psychiatric diagnoses at ages 9 or 12 years are associated with a more problematic adolescence. However, despite the presence of comorbidity, early ADHD symptoms stand out as the most important risk factor for later antisocial development and impaired daily functioning.