Impact of the Impairment Criterion in the Diagnosis of Adult ADHD: 33-Year Follow-Up Study of Boys With ADHD

New York University Child Study Center, 215 Lexington Avenue, Floor 13, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Journal of Attention Disorders (Impact Factor: 2.4). 04/2010; 15(2):122-9. DOI: 10.1177/1087054709359907
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate the relationship between ADHD symptoms and impairment among adults diagnosed as having ADHD in childhood (ages 6-12).
Clinicians blindly interviewed 121 White males; the mean age was 41 years across the sample. DSM-IV adult ADHD behaviors were systematically rated, and impairment resulting from symptoms was scored on a 5-point Likert-type scale.
Correlations between degree of impairment and number of behaviors were high (r's = .83 to .85, p < .001). The impairment criterion had no effect on classifying any participants as having, or not having, adult ADHD. All participants who reported experiencing 5 or more inattention or hyperactive-impulsive behaviors as "often" or "very often" in adulthood were significantly impaired by their symptoms.
Contrary to results reported in children, there was a strong relationship between number of ADHD symptoms and degree of impairment. However, for several reasons (discussed in the article), it should not be concluded that the impairment criterion is superfluous.

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Available from: Rachel G Klein, Jul 02, 2015
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