Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Mary Lou Kelley
The diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adolescents poses a challenge for clinicians and researchers. Given the decline in hyperactivity and increased behavioral inhibition in adolescence, the differential diagnosis between ADHD and internalizing disorders becomes difficult. In addition, the high comorbidity rates found in adolescents with ADHD further complicate diagnostic decisions. The present study examines the diagnostic efficiency of the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD in a large sample of adolescents aged 11 to 17 years. The results suggest that Inattentive symptoms are more useful for classifying ADHD in adolescents than Hyperactive/Impulsive symptoms. However, Inattentive symptoms also misclassify a substantial proportion of adolescents having an internalizing disorder as having ADHD. When comorbid cases are included, the ability of these symptoms to accurately classify subjects further deteriorates. Information about which individual ADHD symptoms best discriminate between ADHD and Internalizing disorders is provided. In addition, the impact of other factors related to diagnostic decisions such as parent versus self-report, gender, and age, are also explored. Implications for future assessment with this population are discussed.
Kern, Larissa Kay, "Diagnosing ADHD in Adolescence: An Analysis of Symptom Presentation and Comorbidity." (1996). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6196.