Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 4 (6), 988-1001

A Network Analysis of Developmental Change in ADHD Symptom Structure From Preschool to Adulthood

Affiliations

A Network Analysis of Developmental Change in ADHD Symptom Structure From Preschool to Adulthood

Michelle M Martel et al. Clin Psychol Sci.

Abstract

Although there is substantial support for the validity of the diagnosis of ADHD, there is considerable disagreement about how to best capture developmental changes in the expression of ADHD symptomatology. The current paper examines the associations among the 18 individual ADHD symptoms using a novel network analysis approach, from preschool to adulthood. The 1,420 participants were grouped into four age brackets: Preschool (age 3-6, n = 109), childhood (age 6-12, n = 548), adolescence (age 13-17, n = 357), and young adulthood (age 18-36, n = 406). All participants completed a multi-stage, multi-informant diagnostic process, and self and informant symptom ratings were obtained. Network analysis indicated ADHD symptom structure became more differentiated over development. Two symptoms Often easily distracted and Difficulty sustaining attention appeared as central, or core, symptoms across all age groups. Thus, a small number of core symptoms may warrant extra weighting in future diagnostic systems.

Keywords: Attention; developmental disorders; developmental psychopathology.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Visualization of One-Cluster ADHD Preschool Network
Symptom Key. Close attn=Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities. Sustain attn=Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities. Listen=Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. Follow thru=Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace. Organize=Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities. Mental effort=Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort. Loses=Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities. Distracted=Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. Forgetful=Is often forgetful in daily activities. Fidgets=Often fidgets or raps hands or feet or squirms in seat. Leaves seat=Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected. Runs, climbs=Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate. Quiet=Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly. On the go=Is often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor.” Talks=Often talks excessively. Blurts=Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed. Waiting=Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn. Interrupts=Often interrupts or intrudes on others.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Visualization of Two-Cluster Childhood Inattention and Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Network
Symptom Key. Close attn=Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities. Sustain attn=Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities. Listen=Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. Follow thru=Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace. Organize=Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities. Mental effort=Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort. Loses=Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities. Distracted=Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. Forgetful=Is often forgetful in daily activities. Fidgets=Often fidgets or raps hands or feet or squirms in seat. Leaves seat=Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected. Runs, climbs=Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate. Quiet=Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly. On the go=Is often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor.” Talks=Often talks excessively. Blurts=Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed. Waiting=Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn. Interrupts=Often interrupts or intrudes on others.
Figure 3
Figure 3. Visualization of Three-Cluster Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity Adolescent Network
Symptom Key. Close attn=Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities. Sustain attn=Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities. Listen=Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. Follow thru=Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace. Organize=Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities. Mental effort=Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort. Loses=Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities. Distracted=Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. Forgetful=Is often forgetful in daily activities. Fidgets=Often fidgets or raps hands or feet or squirms in seat. Leaves seat=Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected. Runs, climbs=Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate. Quiet=Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly. On the go=Is often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor.” Talks=Often talks excessively. Blurts=Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed. Waiting=Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn. Interrupts=Often interrupts or intrudes on others.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Visualization of Three-Cluster Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity Adult Network
Symptom Key. Close attn=Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities. Sustain attn=Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities. Listen=Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. Follow thru=Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace. Organize=Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities. Mental effort=Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort. Loses=Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities. Distracted=Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. Forgetful=Is often forgetful in daily activities. Fidgets=Often fidgets or raps hands or feet or squirms in seat. Leaves seat=Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected. Runs, climbs=Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate. Quiet=Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly. On the go=Is often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor.” Talks=Often talks excessively. Blurts=Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed. Waiting=Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn. Interrupts=Often interrupts or intrudes on others.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 6 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback