The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and biogenetic temperament, as assessed by the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI) in Korean elementary school children.
Five hundred and sixteen elementary school students (254 boys and 262 girls; age range 9-14 years, mean age 11.0 +/- 1.0 years) were studied. The Junior Temperament and Character Inventory, both the self-rating and parent rating scales, the DuPaul ADHD rating scale (ARS-IV) for parents and teachers and the Child Behavior Checklist have been completed by study subjects. Children with high ARS-IV scores (the upper 10th percentile, n = 52) were defined to have ADHD. Fifty-two age- and sex-matched non-ADHD control subjects were selected randomly from a pool of 464 subjects.
Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms correlated positively with Novelty Seeking in both children and parent ratings. These symptoms correlated negatively with Persistence, Self-Directedness and Cooperativeness. Novelty Seeking also had significant correlations with attention problems, delinquent behavior, aggressive behavior, externalizing problems and social problems in the Child Behavior Checklist. The ADHD group (n = 52) had higher scores of Novelty Seeking and lower scores of Self-Directedness and Cooperativeness, compared with the control group.
There were significant correlations between ADHD symptoms and Novelty Seeking. Current findings suggest that Novelty Seeking and ADHD share biogenetic backgrounds.