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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2015 Jun;56(6):632-9. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12337. Epub 2014 Oct 4.

Sex differences in ADHD symptom severity.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA.
2
Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA.
3
Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Males show higher rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than do females. Potential explanations include genuine etiological differences or artifact.

METHODS:

2,332 twin and sibling youth participated in behavioral and cognitive testing. Partially competing models of symptom severity distribution differences, the mean difference, and variance difference models, were tested within a randomly selected subsample. The Delta method was used to test for mediation of sex differences in ADHD symptom severity by processing speed, inhibition and working memory.

RESULTS:

The combined mean difference and variance difference models fully explained the sex difference in ADHD symptom severity. Cognitive endophenotypes mediated 14% of the sex difference effect.

CONCLUSIONS:

The sex difference in ADHD symptom severity is valid and may be due to differing genetic and cognitive liabilities between the sexes.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; cognitive development; gender difference; mediation; neuropsychology

PMID:
25283790
PMCID:
PMC4385512
DOI:
10.1111/jcpp.12337
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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