Regular Papers

Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 327-336

Comorbidity of attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Steven P. CuffeAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, and William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute, University of South Carolina
  • , Elizabeth L. McCulloughAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, and William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute, University of South Carolina
  • , Andres J. PumariegaAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, and William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute, University of South Carolina

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Abstract

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) show a high degree of comorbidity in traumatized children. Two hypotheses may help explain this relationship: children with ADHD are at higher risk for trauma due to their impulsivity, dangerous behaviors, and parents who may have a genetic predisposition for impairment of their own impulse control; and hyperarousal induced by severe trauma and manifested by hypervigilance and poor concentration may impair attention to create an ADHD-like syndrome. Four illustrative cases are presented, and implications for treatment are discussed.

Key Words

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder comorbidity hyperarousal treatment