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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988 Jan;45(1):13-8.

Hyperactive boys almost grown up. II. Status of subjects without a mental disorder.

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Department of Psychology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York 10032.


In a previous article we reported the rate of DSM-III diagnoses among 101 male adolescents (aged 16 to 23 years) in whom hyperactivity had been diagnosed between ages 6 and 12 years compared with 100 controls. This report examines the rates of dysfunction among the 52 probands and 80 control adolescents who did not receive a DSM-III diagnosis at follow-up. Contrary to expectations, there were few areas (primarily involving school adjustment) in which the formerly hyperactive children were found to be at a disadvantage and numerous areas (occupational adjustment, temperament, alcohol abuse, antisocial activities, etc) in which the groups were indistinguishable. The results are explained in accordance with a bimodal distribution of dysfunction in hyperactive children grown up. Indirectly, this model supports the construct validity of the DSM-III diagnoses attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, substance use disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. Post hoc analyses suggest that behavior problems resulting from drug use in early adolescence have graver consequences for previously hyperactive children than normal subjects.

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