, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 107-113

DSM-IV Learning Disorders in 10- to 12-Year-Old Boys With and Without a Parental History of Substance Use Disorders

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This research examined whether learning disorders (LDs) among 10- to 12-year-old boys are related to a parental history of alcohol and other substance use disorders (SUDs). Subjects were boys with (SA+; n = 179) and without (SA− n = 203) a parental history of SUDs. LD diagnoses were made according to DSM-IV criteria using several standardized intelligence tests, and mother and teacher reports of academic and cognitive difficulties. The results indicated a higher rate of DSM-IV LDs in SA+ compared to SA− boys. This association remained significant after accounting for the effects of socioeconomic status and ethnicity. SA+ boys with a lower socioeconomic status had particularly high rates of LDs (15.3%). The results suggest that LDs are associated with a parental history of SUDs. SA+ children with lower SES may be at particularly high risk for cognitive and academic difficulties.