ADHD Blog Post

ADHD in Young Adults – A Longitudinal Study

P, Kuntsi J. Childhood predictors of adolescent and young adult outcome in ADHD.   J Psychiatr Res. 2015 Jan 29. pii: S0022-3956(15)00022-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.01.011.

This investigation examined predictors, including a variety of cognitive measures, demographics and ADHD symptoms and impairments in 116 adolescents followed for an average of 6.6 years into early adulthood.  This study is important as it addresses the critical issue of identifying risk factors for persistence of ADHD into adulthood, which would allow in the future, targeted interventions to potentially improve remission rates.  Remission was defined if individuals no longer met DSM-IV symptom (via DIVA) or impairment (via BFIS) criteria from parental and subject interviews. Symptoms and impairments were established from periods off medication.  62% of the sample was treated with medication.  21% of the sample was found to have remitted.  A number of risk factors were identified as increasing the risk of persistence of ADHD, including higher parental reports of ADHD symptoms, lower IQ and lower socio-economic status (SES).  Medication status did not significantly influence whether a subject was classified as having remitted or persistent ADHD.  These findings of significant associations of low SES and IQ and high ADHD symptoms with persistence of ADHD into young adulthood reinforce similar findings from prior studies and should be included as some of the foci of other longitudinal studies in ADHD.