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, 28 (8), 754-60

Inattention Symptoms and the Diagnosis of Comorbid Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Youth With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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Inattention Symptoms and the Diagnosis of Comorbid Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Youth With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

R Meredith Elkins et al. J Anxiety Disord.

Abstract

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) commonly co-occur in childhood. Inattention symptoms can be hallmarks of both conditions, however assessment tools of inattention may not effectively distinguish between the two conditions. The present study used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses to examine the high-end specificity of the Attention Problems Scale of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for detecting comorbid ADHD among youth with GAD (N=46). Results support the utility of the Attention Problems Scale for accurately distinguishing between the two groups (AUC=.84, SE=.06). Specifically, a cut score of 63 achieved the most favorable values across diagnostic utility indices; 74% of GAD youth with ADHD scored above this cutoff and 91% of GAD youth without ADHD scored below this cutoff. Findings provide support for the use of the CBCL Attention Problems Scale to supplement diagnostic interviews and identify inattention associated with ADHD among GAD youth.

Keywords: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Child Behavior Checklist; Generalized anxiety disorder; High-end specificity; Inattention.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
ROC plot of sensitivities and 1-specificities for each CBCL Attention Problems potential cut score.

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