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Diagnostic continuity between child and adolescent ADHD: findings from a longitudinal clinical sample.

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  • 1Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.



To determine whether there are differences in the clinical expression and correlates of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between children and adolescents.


Subjects were 6- to 17-year old Caucasian, non-Hispanic boys with and without ADHD. DSM-III-R structured diagnostic interviews, psychometric measures, and blind raters assessed psychiatric diagnoses, intellectual performance, social disability, school failure, and family functioning.


Children and adolescents with ADHD had an almost identical pattern of correlates in multiple domains of assessment including psychosocial adversity and comorbidity with conduct, mood, and anxiety disorders. Although the rate of substance abuse differed in comparison between child and adolescent subjects, this was independent of ADHD status.


These findings document the diagnostic continuity of ADHD between childhood and adolescence and support the inclusion of adolescent samples in ADHD research protocols.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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