Association between smoking and retrospectively reported attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in a large sample of new mothers.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

INTRODUCTION: This study investigated the association between retrospectively reported attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms experienced during childhood and five cigarette smoking-related outcomes in adulthood. METHODS: A large sample (N = 1,117) of new mothers participating in an ongoing longitudinal study completed retrospective reports of their childhood ADHD symptomatology, as well as concurrent and retrospective reports of their smoking behavior. Linear regression models tested the association between ADHD symptomatology and smoking outcomes. RESULTS: Childhood ADHD symptomatology was predictive of the number of cigarettes smoked per day currently and during pregnancy, as well as the age at onset of smoking. We found nonlinear associations between hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and the number of cigarettes smoked per day in pregnancy, as well as between inattentive symptoms and the number of cigarettes smoked per day currently. Women who retrospectively reported intermediate levels of ADHD symptoms during their childhood reported smoking more cigarettes per day than women who reported low or high levels of ADHD symptoms during childhood. We also found multiplicative relationship between inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms, such that inattentive symptoms were predictive of an earlier age at smoking onset only when hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were low; moreover, the magnitude of this association was stronger for Black relative to White women. DISCUSSION: These findings demonstrate the importance of considering differential effects of ADHD symptoms and smoking outcomes as a function of sex and race. They also represent a potentially indirect means through which women who have even a moderate childhood history of ADHD symptomatology may create a set of circumstances that compromise the health and well-being of their own children.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Willoughby, MT; Kollins, SH; McClernon, FJ; Family Life Investigative Group,

Published Date

  • March 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 313 - 322

PubMed ID

  • 19307443

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2666380

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-994X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/ntr/ntp001


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England