Adoptive and biological families of children and adolescents with ADHD

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;39(11):1432-7. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200011000-00018.


Objective: Using an adoption study design, the authors addressed the issue of genetics in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Method: This study examined the rates of ADHD and associated disorders in the first-degree adoptive relatives of 25 adopted probands with ADHD and compared them with those of the first-degree biological relatives of 101 nonadopted probands with ADHD and 50 nonadopted, non-ADHD control probands.

Results: Six percent of the adoptive parents of adopted ADHD probands had ADHD compared with 18% of the biological parents of nonadopted ADHD probands and 3% of the biological parents of the control probands.

Conclusion: Results of this study lend support to the hypothesis that ADHD has a genetic component.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adoption*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Nuclear Family*
  • Prevalence