Symptom profiles in children with ADHD: effects of comorbidity and gender.
OBJECTIVE: To examine ratings and objective measures of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms to assess whether ADHD children with and without comorbid conditions have equally high levels of core symptoms and whether symptom profiles differ as a function of comorbidity and gender. METHOD: Four hundred ninety-eight children from the NIMH Collaborative Multisite Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA) were divided into comorbid groups based on the parent Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children and assessed via parents' and teachers' Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham (SNAP) ratings and a continuous performance test (CPT). Comorbidity and gender effects were examined using analyses of covariance controlled for age and site. RESULTS: CPT inattention, impulsivity, and dyscontrol errors were high in all ADHD groups. Children with ADHD + oppositional defiant or conduct disorder were rated as more impulsive than inattentive, while children with ADHD + anxiety disorders (ANX) were relatively more inattentive than impulsive. Girls were less impaired than boys on most ratings and several CPT indices, particularly impulsivity, and girls with ADHD + ANX made fewer CPT impulsivity errors than girls with ADHD-only. CONCLUSIONS: Children with ADHD have high levels of core symptoms as measured by rating scales and CPT, irrespective of comorbidity. However, there are important differences in symptomatology as a function of comorbidity and gender.
Newcorn, JH; Halperin, JM; Jensen, PS; Abikoff, HB; Arnold, LE; Cantwell, DP; Conners, CK; Elliott, GR; Epstein, JN; Greenhill, LL; Hechtman, L; Hinshaw, SP; Hoza, B; Kraemer, HC; Pelham, WE; Severe, JB; Swanson, JM; Wells, KC; Wigal, T; Vitiello, B
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