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J Anxiety Disord. 2014 Dec;28(8):754-60. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.09.003. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Inattention symptoms and the diagnosis of comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among youth with generalized anxiety disorder.

Author information

1
Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University, 648 Beacon Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02215, United States. Electronic address: elkinsr@bu.edu.
2
Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University, 648 Beacon Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02215, United States. Electronic address: aedson@bu.edu.
3
Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University, 648 Beacon Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02215, United States. Electronic address: dpincus@bu.edu.
4
Florida International University, Department of Psychology, 11200 S.W. 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199, United States. Electronic address: jocomer@fiu.edu.

Abstract

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) commonly co-occur in childhood. Inattention symptoms can be hallmarks of both conditions, however assessment tools of inattention may not effectively distinguish between the two conditions. The present study used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses to examine the high-end specificity of the Attention Problems Scale of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for detecting comorbid ADHD among youth with GAD (N=46). Results support the utility of the Attention Problems Scale for accurately distinguishing between the two groups (AUC=.84, SE=.06). Specifically, a cut score of 63 achieved the most favorable values across diagnostic utility indices; 74% of GAD youth with ADHD scored above this cutoff and 91% of GAD youth without ADHD scored below this cutoff. Findings provide support for the use of the CBCL Attention Problems Scale to supplement diagnostic interviews and identify inattention associated with ADHD among GAD youth.

KEYWORDS:

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Child Behavior Checklist; Generalized anxiety disorder; High-end specificity; Inattention

PMID:
25260213
PMCID:
PMC4252769
DOI:
10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.09.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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