, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 27-37

Variations in Anxiety and Depression as a Function of ADHD Subtypes Defined by DSM-IV : Do Subtype Differences Exist or Not?

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Concerns have been raised about the ability of diagnostic criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to distinguish subtypes that are clearly distinct from each other with regard to clinical correlates. One area of concern is that research regarding differences in anxiety and depression as a function of ADHD subtype has produced discrepant findings. This study was designed to systematically evaluate whether the ADHD subtypes differ with regard to level of internalizing symptoms. From a large pool of children referred to an ADHD center based in a pediatric hospital, children were differentiated into three groups: ADHD, Combined Type (ADHD/COM); ADHD, Inattentive Type (ADHD/I); and a non-ADHD, comparison group (COMP). Parent- and child-report measures using both dimensional and categorical methods were used to assess internalizing symptoms. The results indicated that children with ADHD/COM and ADHD/I had similar levels of anxiety and depression. Subtype differences related to parent-reported depression were accounted for by group differences in level of externalizing problems. The results were discussed with regard to their implications for refining the criteria used to differentiate children with ADHD into subtypes.