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The frequency and significance of additional self-reported psychiatric diagnoses in children with attention deficit disorder

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The frequency of additional self-reported diagnoses in a large, heterogeneous sample of attention defiict disorder (ADD) children (N=182)was determined using the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents (DICA). Over half the children had additional DICA diagnoses, with oppositional disorder and anxiety/mood disorders the most frequent. ADD boys with internalizing-type diagnoses had lower verbal IQs and arithmetic scores and performed more poorly on attention tasks than those without; parents also rated them more adversely. Those with externalizing- type diagnoses were rated as more aggressive by teachers and had sociopathic, thrill- seeking profiles on paper-pencil self-ratings. Over 40% of the children were dyslexic or slow learners but they had no higher rate of DICA diagnoses than those who read adequately.

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Author information

Correspondence to Richard L. Livingston or Roscoe A. Dykman.

Additional information

This research was supported by NIMH grant R01-MH39189 and by the Marie Wilson Howells Fund. The authors are grateful to the Chid Study Center staff who assisted in recruiting and evaluating subjects and to the Behavioral Laboratory team members who collected and analyzed the data.

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Livingston, R.L., Dykman, R.A. & Ackerman, P.T. The frequency and significance of additional self-reported psychiatric diagnoses in children with attention deficit disorder. J Abnorm Child Psychol 18, 465–478 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00911102

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  • Attention Deficit
  • Psychiatric Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic Interview
  • Attention Task
  • Heterogeneous Sample