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Attention deficit disorder and age of onset of problem behaviors

Abstract

In the course of a prospective longitudinal study, we examined age of onset of behavior problems in a group of boys and girls identified with attention deficit disorder (ADD) at age 11. Onset occurred during the preschool years, by the first year of schooling, or by the end of the second year of school Onset was strongly related to informant source at age 11, pattern of comorbidity of disorder at age 11, and developmental language, perceptual motor, and IQ measures. Onset by the first year of schooling was particularly related to poor reading skills. By age 15, nearly three-quarters of those with onset of problems before age 6 had one or more DSM-III disorders.

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Correspondence to Rob McGee.

Additional information

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit is supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and involves several departments of the University of Otago. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions made by these and other organizations and individuals to the continuation of the longitudinal study, and in particular the sample members and their families. We also thank Dr. Phil A. Silva, Director of the Dunedin Unit, for his comments on this manuscript.

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McGee, R., Williams, S. & Feehan, M. Attention deficit disorder and age of onset of problem behaviors. J Abnorm Child Psychol 20, 487–502 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00916811

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Keywords

  • Longitudinal Study
  • Behavior Problem
  • Attention Deficit
  • Reading Skill
  • Poor Reading