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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2009 Jan;38(1):132-43. doi: 10.1080/15374410802575313.

Few girls with childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder show positive adjustment during adolescence.

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  • 1Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Employing data from 140 prospectively followed girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 88 age- and ethnicity-matched comparison girls, we adopted a person-centered analytic approach to assess rates of adolescent positive adjustment (PA) across six domains: ADHD symptoms, externalizing symptoms, internalizing symptoms, social skills, peer acceptance, and school achievement. During adolescence, between 19.8% and 61.1% of the girls with childhood ADHD met criteria for PA when the six domains were considered independently. A total of 16.4% of the ADHD sample showed PA in at least five of six domains, versus 86.4% of the comparison girls. Results were similar when PA was examined excluding the ADHD symptom domain. Most girls did not "grow out of" the symptoms and impairments related to their ADHD.

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