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Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2005 Summer;35(4):359-81.

Gender appropriateness of symptom criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional-defiant disorder, and conduct disorder.

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  • 1University of British Columbia, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada.


We examined the gender appropriateness of the DSM-IV symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD). In Study 1, 100 mothers (35 of children with and 65 of children without ADHD) rated how gender-typical and problematic they saw DSM-IV symptoms of ADHD, ODD, and CD; feminine descriptions of ADHD, ODD, and CD behaviors that we created; and relationally and overtly aggressive behaviors. Mothers rated the DSM-IV symptoms and overt aggression as boy-descriptive, and the feminine items that we created and relational aggression as girl-descriptive. Mothers saw the feminine items as less problematic than the masculine items. In Study 2, for 80 girls (40 with and 40 without ADHD), mothers' ratings on the feminine items were related to the corresponding DSM-IV symptoms, and to general psychopathology and impairment. Most correlations were significant and support the construct validity of the feminine items.

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