Neuropsychological Performance in Adults With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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Book Chapter

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of attention, impulsivity, and overactivity; it is estimated to affect 5–10% of children and adolescents and 3–4% of adults. ADHD was previously considered a disorder of childhood; however, follow-up studies suggest that the majority of individuals continue to exhibit ADHD symptoms throughout adolescence and adulthood. Longitudinal studies also indicate that these individuals are at greater risk for academic, social, and behavioral difficulties during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, as well as psychiatric comorbidity (e.g., antisocial behavior, drug use, mood disorders). Relative to what is known about ADHD in children and adolescents, less empirical information is available concerning ADHD in adults. In fact, some researchers have questioned the validity of adult ADHD and have asserted that ADHD typically remits in adulthood. Many others, however, disagree with this notion and attest to the persistence of ADHD throughout adolescence and adulthood. Recently Faraone et al. sought to determine whether ADHD is a valid disorder in adulthood, using the validity criteria of Robins and Guze. Faraone et al. reviewed clinical, family, psychopharmacological, neurobiological, and adult ADHD outcome studies and concluded that adult ADHD is a valid disorder, although the authors emphasized that additional studies are needed to clarify the specific nature of ADHD in adulthood.


This book chapter was originally published in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: From Genes to Patients. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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© 2005 Humana Press Inc.