Trajectories of ADHD severity over 10 years from childhood into adulthood

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The study examined unique trajectories of ADHD severity from childhood (7–16 yo at baseline) through adulthood in a sample of ADHD, bipolar and healthy subjects. Comorbid disorders and temperament were examined as correlates of course of ADHD. N = 81 participants with an ADHD diagnosis, ascertained as a comparison group in a study of bipolar disorder (BP-I), were followed over a 10-year period. Growth mixture modeling (GMM) of ADHD severity was used to investigate trajectories of ADHD severity over 10 years. GMM revealed four trajectories in the N = 251 participants included in these analyses. A persisting high ADHD trajectory had the highest rates of comorbid major depressive disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. This persisting high ADHD group also had higher fantasy and lower persistence and self-directedness compared with those who displayed a pattern of decreasing ADHD symptoms over time. Psychopathologic features that characterize divergent trajectories of ADHD into adulthood are elucidated, and additional, larger studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • ADHD
  • Longitudinal
  • Substance use
  • Temperament
  • Trajectory


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