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Self-reported childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms are not specific to the disorder.
Compr Psychiatry. 2009 May-Jun; 50(3):269-75.CP

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The present study examined the specificity of self-reported childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms using the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS) in young adults with (1) a previous diagnosis of ADHD, (2) comorbid ADHD and psychological symptoms or diagnoses, (3) psychological diagnoses or symptoms without comorbid ADHD, and (4) controls.

METHOD

One thousand four hundred thirty-one non-treatment-seeking individuals (508 males), aged 18 to 25 years, were assigned to 1 of 4 groups (psychological controls, controls, ADHD, ADHD comorbid), based on responses to psychological, demographic, and health history questionnaires completed as part of a larger study. Responses to the WURS were analyzed at the individual item and subtest levels for their specificity to ADHD using area under the curve analyses.

RESULTS

The standard WURS cutoff score of 46 was neither sensitive nor specific to ADHD, with a high rate of false positives in psychological controls. Factor analyses supported a 5-factor model (conduct problems, impulsivity problems, mood difficulties, inattention/anxiety symptoms, poor academic functioning) that accounted for 62% of the total variance; these factors were used to generate factor-based WURS subscales. Three subscales (impulsivity, poor academic functioning, and inattention/anxiety symptoms) showed potential for discriminating ADHD from controls among females. No subscales showed adequate sensitivity or specificity for discriminating ADHD from psychological controls among the males.

CONCLUSIONS

Results provide further evidence that retrospective self-report of childhood ADHD symptoms is not specific to ADHD and highlight concerns about the reliance on self-report of childhood ADHD symptoms for diagnostic purposes. Results suggest consideration of specific types of symptoms, and sex differences might increase diagnostic use of self-reported childhood symptoms.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701, USA. suhr@ohio.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19374973

Citation

Suhr, Julie, et al. "Self-reported Childhood Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms Are Not Specific to the Disorder." Comprehensive Psychiatry, vol. 50, no. 3, 2009, pp. 269-75.
Suhr J, Zimak E, Buelow M, et al. Self-reported childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms are not specific to the disorder. Compr Psychiatry. 2009;50(3):269-75.
Suhr, J., Zimak, E., Buelow, M., & Fox, L. (2009). Self-reported childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms are not specific to the disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 50(3), 269-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.08.008
Suhr J, et al. Self-reported Childhood Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms Are Not Specific to the Disorder. Compr Psychiatry. 2009 May-Jun;50(3):269-75. PubMed PMID: 19374973.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Self-reported childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms are not specific to the disorder. AU - Suhr,Julie, AU - Zimak,Eric, AU - Buelow,Melissa, AU - Fox,Laurie, Y1 - 2008/11/22/ PY - 2007/12/28/received PY - 2008/08/11/revised PY - 2008/08/27/accepted PY - 2009/4/21/entrez PY - 2009/4/21/pubmed PY - 2009/8/15/medline SP - 269 EP - 75 JF - Comprehensive psychiatry JO - Compr Psychiatry VL - 50 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVE: The present study examined the specificity of self-reported childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms using the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS) in young adults with (1) a previous diagnosis of ADHD, (2) comorbid ADHD and psychological symptoms or diagnoses, (3) psychological diagnoses or symptoms without comorbid ADHD, and (4) controls. METHOD: One thousand four hundred thirty-one non-treatment-seeking individuals (508 males), aged 18 to 25 years, were assigned to 1 of 4 groups (psychological controls, controls, ADHD, ADHD comorbid), based on responses to psychological, demographic, and health history questionnaires completed as part of a larger study. Responses to the WURS were analyzed at the individual item and subtest levels for their specificity to ADHD using area under the curve analyses. RESULTS: The standard WURS cutoff score of 46 was neither sensitive nor specific to ADHD, with a high rate of false positives in psychological controls. Factor analyses supported a 5-factor model (conduct problems, impulsivity problems, mood difficulties, inattention/anxiety symptoms, poor academic functioning) that accounted for 62% of the total variance; these factors were used to generate factor-based WURS subscales. Three subscales (impulsivity, poor academic functioning, and inattention/anxiety symptoms) showed potential for discriminating ADHD from controls among females. No subscales showed adequate sensitivity or specificity for discriminating ADHD from psychological controls among the males. CONCLUSIONS: Results provide further evidence that retrospective self-report of childhood ADHD symptoms is not specific to ADHD and highlight concerns about the reliance on self-report of childhood ADHD symptoms for diagnostic purposes. Results suggest consideration of specific types of symptoms, and sex differences might increase diagnostic use of self-reported childhood symptoms. SN - 1532-8384 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19374973/Self_reported_childhood_attention_deficit/hyperactivity_disorder_symptoms_are_not_specific_to_the_disorder_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -