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Psychiatry Investig. 2013 Jun;10(2):137-42. doi: 10.4306/pi.2013.10.2.137. Epub 2013 May 30.

Temperamental characteristics in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a comparison with bipolar disorder and healthy control groups.

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Department of Psychiatry, Balikli Rum Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.



To date, the affective temperamental characteristics of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have not been studied. The aim of this study is to explore those temperamental characteristics for adults diagnosed with ADHD as measured by the TEMPS-A and then to compare those results with results for individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder (BD) and with healthy controls.


Forty adults with ADHD, 40 patients with BD, and 40 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. The groups were matched by age and gender. All patients were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID I), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, the Young Mania Rating Scale and the Wender Utah Rating Scale. Subjects' temperamental characteristics were examined using the Turkish version of the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego-auto questionnaire (TEMPS-A).


Ten subjects (25%) in the ADHD group and 15 subjects (30%) in the bipolar group had at least one dominant temperament. There was no identifiable dominant temperament in the control group. Compared to the control group, the ADHD group scored higher than other groups on all domains of the TEMPS-A: depressive cyclothymic, irritable and anxious. However, the hyperthymic domain was not higher for this group. Adults with ADHD scored higher on the irritable temperament scale as compared to the BD group. The ADHD and BD groups had similar mean scores for each of the other four temperaments.


The adults diagnosed with ADHD in this study had different temperamental characteristics from the control group, and these temperamental characteristics were similar to those of the bipolar patients. Recognizing the role of temperamental characteristics in adults with ADHD may increase our understanding of ADHD.


Adult; Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder; Bipolar disorder; Temperament

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