Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Only Subset of ADHD Boys Develop Risky Behaviors

In general, boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit no more risky behavior than other adults.

However, that is not true among boys with ADHD who also go on to develop conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder (CP/APD), according to Rachel Klein, Ph.D., of the New York University Medical Center, and colleagues, writing in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, online January 5.

The researchers assessed 135 boys at average age 8 years and again at average age 41, and compared them to 136 control subjects without ADHD.
As adults, the ADHD group displayed significantly more risky driving, sexually transmitted disease, head injuries, and emergency department admissions—all markers of risky behavior. However, it was subjects with CP/APD accounted for all the difference, wrote Klein.

“Over their lifetime, those who did not develop CD/APD did not differ from comparison subjects in risk-taking behaviors,” she said.

For another take in Psychiatric News on Klein et al’s long-term research, click here. And for more about treatment of children and adolescents, see American Psychiatric Publishing's Clinical Manual of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
(Image: Donfiore/


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