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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007 Sep;16(6):362-9. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

ADHD and comorbid disorders in relation to family environment and symptom severity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Public Health Science and General Practice, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, Oulu, Finland. tuula.hurtig@oulu.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To examine the comorbidity of ADHD in association with family environment and the severity of ADHD.

METHOD:

A screening for ADHD symptoms was conducted among adolescents in the Northern Finland 1986 Birth Cohort (N = 6622). A sample of those adolescents (n = 457), aged 16-18 years, with and without ADHD symptoms was assessed with a diagnostic interview (Kiddie-SADS-PL) and ADHD and comorbid disorders were studied in association with the family characteristics and the number of ADHD symptoms.

RESULTS:

Adolescents with ADHD had more commonly conduct disorder (P < 0.001), oppositional defiant disorder (P < 0.001), substance abuse (P < 0.001) and mild depression (P < 0.001) than adolescents without ADHD. Adolescents with ADHD and comorbid disorders had more ADHD symptoms (P < 0.001) than those with ADHD alone. Compared to adolescents with ADHD alone those with ADHD and comorbidity lived significantly more commonly in non-intact families, in low-income families, with mothers who were dissatisfied with life and with parents who showed little interest in their adolescents' activities.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adolescents who develop externalizing disorders comorbid to ADHD seem to suffer from a severe form of ADHD and live in family environments that may not provide sufficient support for optimal development of an adolescent with ADHD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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