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01-08-2014 | Uitgave 6/2014

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 6/2014

Changes in ADHD Symptom Endorsement: Preschool to School Age

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 6/2014
Jocelyn T. Curchack-Lichtin, Anil Chacko, Jeffrey M. Halperin
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10802-013-9834-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


To investigate endorsement patterns among the 18 DSM-IV symptoms of ADHD in a longitudinal sample of children with and without ADHD (n = 144), as assessed at ages 4-5, 5-6, and 6-7 years. Symptom endorsements and diagnoses were determined at all time-points via K-SADS-PL interview administered to parents and supplemented by teacher questionnaires and clinician observations. Changes in endorsement patterns over time for each of the 18 DSM-IV symptoms were ascertained. Several symptoms, particularly those of inattention, were infrequently endorsed and of apparently limited diagnostic utility at ages 4-5; hyperactive/impulsive symptoms were more frequently endorsed among young children with ADHD than were inattentive symptoms. However, by ages 6-7, inattention items were somewhat superior at discriminating ADHD from Non-ADHD children. Several DSM-IV and now DSM-V symptoms provide limited diagnostic differentiation prior to school-age, particularly those most commonly observed in the context of formal schooling. Consideration should be made in future iterations of the DSM that account for such developmental and contextual differences.

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