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J Atten Disord. 2014 Apr;18(3):212-25. doi: 10.1177/1087054712443160. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Adolescent and caregiver reports of ADHD symptoms among inner-city youth: agreement, perceived need for treatment, and behavioral correlates.

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  • 11CASA, New York, NY, USA.



This study investigated adolescent and caregiver reports of ADHD symptoms in a sample of clinically referred inner-city adolescents.


Participants (N = 168) included youth ages 12-18 (54% male, 98% ethnic minority) and their caregivers who each completed diagnostic interviews of ADHD symptoms and assessments of perceived need for ADHD treatment and correlated behavior problems.


Informants showed poor agreement on DSM-IV diagnostic categories and also dimensional scales, Inattention/Disorganization (I/D) and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity (H/I). Both caregiver and adolescent reports of I/D symptoms, but not H/I symptoms, were related to perceived need for ADHD treatment. Caregiver reports were linked to behavioral correlates typically associated with ADHD: I/D symptoms correlated with planning/organization and socioemotional deficits, and H/I symptoms correlated with externalizing and behavior regulation deficits. In contrast, adolescent reports of I/D were related to internalizing and externalizing problems, and their reports of H/I correlated with externalizing only. Few gender effects were found.


Study results underscore the developmental salience of I/D symptoms and have implications for ADHD diagnosis and treatment planning for adolescents.


ADHD correlates; ADHD subtypes; adolescent ADHD; informant agreement; perceived need for treatment

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