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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;45(2):192-202.

Young adult outcome of hyperactive children: adaptive functioning in major life activities.

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Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.



The authors report the adaptive functioning of hyperactive and control children in southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee) followed to young adulthood.


Interviews with participants concerning major life activities were collected between 1992 and 1996 and used along with employer ratings and high school records at the young adult follow-up (mean = 20 years, range 19-25) for this large sample of hyperactive (H; n = 149) and community control (CC; n = 72) children initially seen in 1978-1980 and studied for at least 13 years. Age, duration of follow-up, and IQ were statistically controlled as needed.


The H group had significantly lower educational performance and attainment, with 32% failing to complete high school. H group members had been fired from more jobs and manifested greater employer-rated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms and lower job performance than the CC group. Socially, the H group had fewer close friends, more trouble keeping friends, and more social problems as rated by parents. Far more H than CC group members had become parents (38% versus 4%) and had been treated for sexually transmitted disease (16% versus 4%). Severity of lifetime conduct disorder was predictive of several of the most salient outcomes (failure to graduate, earlier sexual intercourse, early parenthood) whereas attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder at work were predictive of job performance and risk of being fired.


These findings corroborate prior research and go further in identifying sexual activity and early parenthood as additional problematic domains of adaptive functioning at adulthood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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