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Minerva Psichiatrica 2012 March;53(1):11-27

language: English

Adolescent and adult outcome of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: presentation and predictors

Cherkasova M. V. 1, Pondé M. P. 2, Hechtman L. 3

1 Division of Child Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;
2 Division of Child Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;
3 Professor of Psychopharmacology, BAHIANA School of Medicine and Public Health, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil


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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has historically been considered a disorder of childhood, with symptoms remitting by adolescence. A wealth of evidence now suggests that symptoms of the disorder often persist into adolescence and adulthood and that many children with ADHD function poorly later in life, particularly in terms of education, employment, antisocial behaviour, substance abuse, criminality, and mental health. Most of this evidence comes from prospective studies that followed cohorts of children with ADHD into adolescence and adulthood, examining their functioning at various intervals. This review focuses on findings of the major prospective follow-up studies and on how these findings contribute to our understanding of the presentation of ADHD across the life span. It also explores predictors of persistence of ADHD from childhood into later life and of functional outcomes in children with ADHD.

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