Send to

Choose Destination
J Learn Disabil. 2000 Nov-Dec;33(6):520-36.

Inattentive behavior in childhood: epidemiology and implications for development.

Author information

Maudsley Hospital in London.


Poor concentration is a relatively common childhood problem. The current North American psychiatric diagnostic classification system (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition; DSM-IV), American Psychological Association, 1994) differentiates children whose problems are distinguished primarily by symptoms of inattention (ADHD-I) from those whose difficulties are characterized by overactive, impulsive behavior by providing various subtypes within a broad diagnostic category. Yet, comparatively little is known about children who exhibit purely inattentive behavior. This study aims to redress this issue by using a large, community-based, epidemiological sample of 7-year-old children to compare the developmental functioning, social, and environmental backgrounds of children with pure inattentive behavior to that of children with pure overactive behavior and combined problems of inattentive and overactive behavior. Five hypotheses, centered on the validity of distinguishing inattentive behavior from overactivity, are tested. Children with pure inattentive behavior were more likely to have general cognitive delays, particularly in the area of language development, and were more likely to come from a family in which the father was of low occupational status. The results are discussed in relation to the implications for research and the identification of needs and intervention with children who exhibit pure inattentive behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center