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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2006 September;47(3):209-19

language: Italian

Prevalence of Attention Deficit/Hyper-activity Disorder (DSM-III-R) in a large sample of Italian preadolescente

Madeddu F., Dazzi S., Prunas A., Ripamonti C., Barzaghi A.

Dipartimento di Psicologia Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milano


Aim. This study aims at estimating the prevalence of DSM-III-R Attention-Deficit/Hyper- activity Disorder (ADHD) in a large school-based sample of Italian early-adolescents and analyzing the influence of gender on symptoms. This is a longitudinal study investigating developmental antecedents of deviant behaviors.
Methods. The sample is composed of 570 subjects volunterely recruited among students attending 11 public schools located in the urban area of Parma, in the North of Italy. The sample was balanced for gender [308 (53%) females and 273 (47%) males] and mean age was 11.96 years (SD=±0.48). All subjects were administered the ADHD section of the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Ado-lescents (DICA-R), a structured interview for the assessment of developmental disorders according to DSM-III-R.
Results. Our data show a lifetime prevalence of ADHD of 1.2% with a male/female ratio of 1.5:1.
Conclusions. Our results are in line with those of recent studies suggesting that gender differences in prevalence and symptomathology of ADHD may be attributed to a referral bias.

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