Anxiety in young people with ADHD: clinical and self-report outcomes

J Atten Disord. 2015 Jan;19(1):18-26. doi: 10.1177/1087054712446830. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


Objective: (a) To determine the prevalence of comorbid anxiety disorder in ADHD, defined by diagnostic criteria and (b) to compare anxiety as reported by parents and participants with clinician assessment.

Method: Children with ADHD were assessed for comorbid anxiety disorder using the Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule for Children. Parent report (Conners' Parent Rating Scale-Revised: Long version) and self-report (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Brain Resource Inventory for Screening Cases-Child version) scales were used to assess anxiety. The ADHD-Rating Scale IV was used to measure ADHD symptoms.

Results: Of 134 participants (11.0 ± 2.6 years), 31.3% had comorbid anxiety disorder. Comorbid anxiety disorder was associated with greater severity of ADHD. Anxiety symptoms from parent reports (p < .05) but not from child/self-report (p > .05) correlated with clinician assessment.

Conclusion: Assessment for comorbid anxiety disorder and inclusion of parent rating in this assessment are important components of ADHD treatment in children and adolescents.

Keywords: ADHD; adolescents; comorbidity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index