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The adolescent outcome of hyperactive children diagnosed by research criteria: I. An 8-year prospective follow-up study.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655.


The psychiatric outcome is reported for a large sample of hyperactive children (N = 123), meeting research diagnostic criteria, and normal control children (N = 66) followed prospectively over an 8-year period into adolescence. Over 80% of the hyperactives were attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 60% had either oppositional defiant disorder and/or conduct disorder at outcome. Rates of antisocial acts were considerably higher among hyperactives than normals, as were cigarette and marijuana use and negative academic outcomes. The presence of conduct disorder accounted for much though not all of these outcomes. Family status of hyperactives was much less stable over time than in the normal subjects. The use of research criteria for diagnosing children as hyperactive identifies a pattern of behavioral symptoms that is highly stable over time and associated with considerably greater risk for family disturbance and negative academic and social outcomes in adolescence than has been previously reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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