ADHD latent class clusters: DSM-IV subtypes and comorbidity

Josephine Elia, Mauricio Arcos-Burgos, Kelly L. Bolton, Paul J. Ambrosini, Wade Berrettini, Maximilian Muenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has a complex, heterogeneous phenotype only partially captured by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria. In this report, latent class analyses (LCA) are used to identify ADHD phenotypes using K-SADS-IVR (Schedule for Affective Disorders & Schizophrenia for School Age Children-IV-Revised) symptoms and symptom severity data from a clinical sample of 500 ADHD subjects, ages 6-18, participating in an ADHD genetic study. Results show that LCA identified six separate ADHD clusters, some corresponding to specific DSM-IV subtypes while others included several subtypes. DSM-IV comorbid anxiety and mood disorders were generally similar across all clusters, and subjects without comorbidity did not aggregate within any one cluster. Age and gender composition also varied. These results support findings from population-based LCA studies. The six clusters provide additional homogenous groups that can be used to define ADHD phenotypes in genetic association studies. The limited age ranges aggregating in the different clusters may prove to be a particular advantage in genetic studies where candidate gene expression may vary during developmental phases. DSM-IV comorbid mood and anxiety disorders also do not appear to increase cluster heterogeneity; however, longitudinal studies that cover period of risk are needed to support this finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-198
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 30 2009


  • Children
  • DSM-IV
  • Oppositional defiant disorder


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