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Symptom profiles in children with ADHD: effects of comorbidity and gender.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA. Jeffrey.Newcorn@mssm.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine ratings and objective measures of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms to assess whether ADHD children with and without comorbid conditions have equally high levels of core symptoms and whether symptom profiles differ as a function of comorbidity and gender.

METHOD:

Four hundred ninety-eight children from the NIMH Collaborative Multisite Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA) were divided into comorbid groups based on the parent Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children and assessed via parents' and teachers' Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham (SNAP) ratings and a continuous performance test (CPT). Comorbidity and gender effects were examined using analyses of covariance controlled for age and site.

RESULTS:

CPT inattention, impulsivity, and dyscontrol errors were high in all ADHD groups. Children with ADHD + oppositional defiant or conduct disorder were rated as more impulsive than inattentive, while children with ADHD + anxiety disorders (ANX) were relatively more inattentive than impulsive. Girls were less impaired than boys on most ratings and several CPT indices, particularly impulsivity, and girls with ADHD + ANX made fewer CPT impulsivity errors than girls with ADHD-only.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with ADHD have high levels of core symptoms as measured by rating scales and CPT, irrespective of comorbidity. However, there are important differences in symptomatology as a function of comorbidity and gender.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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