ADHD at Age 7 and Functional Impairments at Age 10, finds a
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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cohort studies have typically involved clinical samples and have usually recruited children across wide age ranges, limiting generalizability across complexity and developmental stage. The academic, emotional-behavioral and social functioning at age 10, and predictors of outcomes, in a nonreferred cohort of children recruited at age 7, between those with full-syndrome (FS) ADHD and controls with no ADHD were compared.

A prospective cohort study with a 3-year follow-up period was carried out where children were recruited from 43 socioeconomically diverse schools. Multi-informant outcomes at age 10 were academic functioning, emotional-behavioral functioning, and social functioning. Outcomes were compared across the groups by using adjusted random-effects linear regression analyses.

In total, 477 children (62% male) were recruited at a mean (SD) age of 7.3 years (0.4). There were 179 participants with FS ADHD, 86 with ST ADHD, and 212 controls. Sample retention was 78.2% at 3-year follow-up. Both the FS and ST groups were functioning worse than controls on almost all outcome measures. The best predictors of outcome for children with ADHD were working memory (academic outcome), ADHD symptom severity (emotional-behavioral outcome), and autism spectrum disorder symptoms (emotional-behavioral outcome; social outcome, parent).

Children with FS and ST ADHD at age 7 experience persisting functional impairments across domains at age 10. The predictors identified at age 7 present potential targets for intervention to ameliorate impairments.