Does level of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder symptoms predicts poor transition into adulthood?
Transition into adulthood is a risky period for young people with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but empirical studies on this topic are scarce. This study investigated the association between the level of ADHD symptoms and transition into adulthood.
Data were collected in the Cohort Study of Substance Use and Risk Factors among a representative sample of young Swiss men (n = 4681) over three waves. Measures included the level of ADHD symptoms and emerging adulthood assessed with the Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood and indicators of successful transition into adulthood.
The level of ADHD symptoms was associated with a lower success in the transition into adulthood. Young people with high level of ADHD symptoms had a reduced increase in indicators of successful transition over time. Inattention symptoms were more strongly associated with emerging adulthood measures in comparison with hyperactive symptoms.
The level of ADHD symptoms may delay the transition into adulthood, especially inattentive symptoms. Providing tailored interventions to emerging adults with ADHD symptoms may decrease the substantial impairments adults with ADHD experience in life.
KeywordsFunctional impairment Health care IDEA Mental health
The C-SURF study was granted by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Project No. 148493).
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Caci H, Doepfner M, Asherson P, Donfrancesco R, Faraone SV, Hervas A, Fitzgerald M (2014) Daily life impairments associated with self-reported childhood/adolescent attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and experiences of diagnosis and treatment: results from the European Lifetime Impairment Survey. Eur Psychiatry 29:316–323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2013.10.007 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kessler RC, Adler LA, Gruber MJ, Sarawate CA, Spencer T, Van Brunt DL (2007) Validity of the World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) screener in a representative sample of health plan members. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res 16:52–65. https://doi.org/10.1002/mpr.208 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Larsson H, Anckarsater H, Råstam M, Chang Z, Lichtenstein P (2012) Childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as an extreme of a continuous trait: a quantitative genetic study of 8,500 twin pairs. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 53:73–80. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02467.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lisha NE, Grana R, Sun P, Rohrbach L, Spruijt-Metz D, Reifman A, Sussman S (2012) Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Revised Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA-R) in a sample of continuation high school students Eval. Health Prof. https://doi.org/10.1177/0163278712452664 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Okumura MJ, Hersh AO, Hilton JF, Lotstein DS (2013) Change in health status and access to care in young adults with special health care needs: results from the 2007 national survey of adult transition and health. J Adolesc Health 52:413–418. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.08.005 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Parsons HM, Schmidt S, Harlan LC, Kent EE, Lynch CF, Smith AW, Keegan THM (2014) Young and uninsured: insurance patterns of recently diagnosed adolescent and young adult cancer survivors in the AYA HOPE study. Cancer 120:2352–2360. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.28685 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Ramos-Quiroga JA, Montoya A, Kutzelnigg A, Deberdt W, Sobanski E (2013) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the European adult population: prevalence, disease awareness, and treatment guidelines. Curr Med Res Opin 29:1093–1104. https://doi.org/10.1185/03007995.2013.812961 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Shaw M, Hodgkins P, Caci H, Young S, Kahle J, Woods AG, Arnold LE (2012) A systematic review and analysis of long-term outcomes in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: effects of treatment and non-treatment. BMC Med 10:99. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-10-99 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar