Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 399–410 | Cite as

Academic Achievement Over 8 Years Among Children Who Met Modified Criteria for Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder at 4–6 Years of Age

  • Greta M. MassettiEmail author
  • Benjamin B. Lahey
  • William E. Pelham
  • Jan Loney
  • Ashley Ehrhardt
  • Steve S. Lee
  • Heidi Kipp


The predictive validity of symptom criteria for different subtypes of ADHD among children who were impaired in at least one setting in early childhood was examined. Academic achievement was assessed seven times over 8 years in 125 children who met symptom criteria for ADHD at 4–6 years of age and in 130 demographically-matched non-referred comparison children. When intelligence and other confounds were controlled, children who met modified criteria for the predominantly inattentive subtype of ADHD in wave 1 had lower reading, spelling, and mathematics scores over time than both comparison children and children who met modified criteria for the other subtypes of ADHD. In some analyses, children who met modified criteria for the combined type had somewhat lower mathematics scores than comparison children. The robust academic deficits relative to intelligence in the inattentive group in this age range suggest either that inattention results in academic underachievement or that some children in the inattentive group have learning disabilities that cause secondary symptoms of inattention. Unexpectedly, wave 1 internalizing (anxiety and depression) symptoms independently predicted deficits in academic achievement controlling ADHD, intelligence, and other predictors.


ADHD Academic achievement Learning disabilities Anxiety Depression Longitudinal outcomes 



This study was supported by grant R01 MH053554 from the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Massetti was supported by American Psychological Association/Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Education Research Training fellowship under Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences grant number R305UO30004. Dr. Massetti is currently a Behavioral Scientist in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention within the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greta M. Massetti
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Benjamin B. Lahey
    • 2
  • William E. Pelham
    • 1
  • Jan Loney
    • 3
  • Ashley Ehrhardt
    • 2
  • Steve S. Lee
    • 2
  • Heidi Kipp
    • 4
  1. 1.Departments of Psychology and PediatricsUniversity at Buffalo, SUNYBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  4. 4.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  5. 5.Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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