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. May-Jun 2017;17(4):356-361.
doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2016.12.009. Epub 2016 Dec 18.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and ADHD Diagnosis at Age 9 Years in a National Urban Sample

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Free PMC article

Adverse Childhood Experiences and ADHD Diagnosis at Age 9 Years in a National Urban Sample

Manuel E Jimenez et al. Acad Pediatr. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objective: To examine associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at age 9 years using longitudinal data and assess the extent to which ACEs during middle childhood are independently associated with ADHD at age 9 years.

Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the Fragile Families urban birth cohort 5- and 9-year interviews. The sample was limited to children for whom mothers were the primary caregiver and mother-reported information on 8 ACEs and ADHD were available at age 5 and 9 years. We examined associations between ACEs and parent-reported ADHD at age 9 years using logistic regression and controlling for potential confounders.

Results: We included 1572 children; 48% were African American, 11% had parent-reported ADHD at age 9 years, 41% and 42% experienced ≥1 ACE by age 5 years and between the ages of 5 and 9 years, respectively. ACEs before age 5 years were associated with ADHD at age 9 years. One, 2, and ≥3 ACEs between age 5 and 9 years were associated with ADHD at age 9 years even after controlling for ACEs before age 5 years and ADHD at age 5 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-3; AOR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.8; and AOR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.1-4.3).

Conclusions: In this study of urban children, ACEs occurring before age 5 years as well as between the ages of 5 and 9 years were associated with ADHD at age 9 years. Even after controlling for early childhood ACEs and ADHD at age 5 years, the association between ADHD and ACEs in middle childhood remained significant, highlighting the importance of screening and intervention throughout childhood.

Keywords: adverse childhood experiences; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; child development and behavior.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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