Long-Term School Outcomes for Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Population-Based Perspective
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to compare long-term school outcomes (academic achievement in reading, absenteeism, grade retention, and school dropout) for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) versus those without AD/HD.
Subjects included 370 children with research-identified AD/HD from a 1976-1982 population-based birth cohort (N = 5718) and 740 non-AD/HD control subjects from the same birth cohort, matched by gender and age. All subjects were retrospectively followed from birth until a median age of 18.4 years (AD/HD cases) or 18.3 years (non-AD/HD controls). The complete school record for each subject was reviewed to obtain information on reading achievement (last available California Achievement Test reading score), absenteeism (number/percentage of school days absent at each grade level), grade retention (having to repeat an entire grade in the subsequent school year), and school dropout (failure to graduate from high school).
Median reading achievement scores at age 12.8 years (expressed as a national percentile) were significantly different for AD/HD cases and non-AD/HD controls (45 vs 73). Results were similar for both boys and girls with AD/HD. Median percentage of days absent was statistically significantly higher for children with AD/HD versus those without AD/HD, although the difference was relatively small in absolute number of days absent. Subjects with AD/HD were three times more likely to be retained a grade. Similarly, subjects with AD/HD were 2.7 times more likely to drop out before high school graduation (22.9%) than non-AD/HD controls (10.0%).
The results of this population-based study clearly demonstrate the association between AD/HD and poor long-term school outcomes.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose The purpose of this study is to propose a mediational model for the mechanisms through which a diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder between the ages of 10 and 12 predicts positive and negative early adult outcomes for African Americans. Methods The study sample (n = 211) was drawn from the Des Moines, Iowa subsample of the Family and Community Health Study. Participants were first assessed between the ages of 10 and 12, again between the ages of 12 and 18, and finally at 18 to 23. Results Findings indicate that a diagnosis of ADHD before age 13 indirectly predicted subsequent exclusionary school discipline and juvenile arrest in adolescence, and both arrests and educational attainment in young adulthood. Conclusions These findings offer support for the School to Prison Pipeline model, showing that for some African American children, a childhood diagnosis of ADHD can lead to negative school experiences that result in harsh school-based discipline, which in turn open the door to justice system involvement spanning several developmental stages.Journal of Criminal Justice 03/2014; 42(2):95–103. DOI:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2013.12.005 · 1.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mental health and school adjustment problems are thought to distinguish early sexual behavior from normative timing (16-18 years), but little is known about how early sexual behavior originates from these problems in middle-childhood. Existing studies do not allow for co-occurring problems, differences in onset and persistence, and there is no information on middle-childhood school adjustment in relationship to early sexual activity. This study examined associations between several middle-childhood problems and early sexual behavior, using a subsample (N = 4,739, 53 % female, 98 % white, mean age 15 years 6 months) from a birth cohort study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Adolescents provided information at age 15 on early sexual behavior (oral sex and/or intercourse) and sexual risk-taking, and at age 13 on prior risk involvement (sexual behavior, antisocial behavior and substance use). Information on hyperactivity/inattention, conduct problems, depressive symptoms, peer relationship problems, school dislike and school performance was collected in middle-childhood at Time 1 (6-8 years) and Time 2 (10-11 years). In agreement with previous research, conduct problems predicted early sexual behavior, although this was found only for persistent early problems. In addition, Time 2 school dislike predicted early sexual behavior, while peer relationship problems were protective. Persistent early school dislike further characterized higher-risk groups (early sexual behavior preceded by age 13 risk, or accompanied by higher sexual risk-taking). The study establishes middle-childhood school dislike as a novel risk factor for early sexual behavior and higher-risk groups, and the importance of persistent conduct problems. Implications for the identification of children at risk and targeted intervention are discussed, as well as suggestions for further research.Journal of Youth and Adolescence 07/2013; 43(4). DOI:10.1007/s10964-013-9973-x · 2.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Decreased success at work and educational attainment by adulthood are of concern for children with ADHD given their widely documented academic difficulties; however there are few studies that have examined this empirically and even fewer that have studied predictors and individual variability of these outcomes. The current study compares young adults with and without a childhood diagnosis of ADHD on educational and occupational outcomes and the predictors of these outcomes. Participants were from the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study (PALS), a prospective study with yearly data collection. Significant group differences were found for nearly all variables such that educational and occupational attainment was lower for adults with compared to adults without histories of childhood ADHD. Despite the mean difference, educational functioning was wide-ranging. High school academic achievement significantly predicted enrollment in post-high school education and academic and disciplinary problems mediated the relationship between childhood ADHD and post-high school education. Interestingly, ADHD diagnosis and disciplinary problems negatively predicted occupational status while enrollment in post-high school education was a positive predictor. Job loss was positively predicted by a higher rate of academic problems and diagnosis of ADHD. This study supports the need for interventions that target the child and adolescent predictors of later educational and occupational outcomes in addition to continuing treatment of ADHD in young adulthood targeting developmentally appropriate milestones, such as completing post-high school education and gaining and maintaining stable employment.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 07/2012; 41(1). DOI:10.1007/s10802-012-9658-z · 3.09 Impact Factor