Functional Impairment Differences among Youth with ADHD: The Role of Comorbid Anxiety and Mood Disorders

Adam Michael Reid, Paulo Graziano, Joseph McNamara, Adrian Paneto, Gary Geffken

University of Florida


1-1-e31-2015

The objective of this research was to investigate differences in functional impairment between youth with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and an Anxiety Disorder (ADHD + AD) or a Mood Disorder (ADHD + MD) by comparing average impairment on one clinician-rated (Global Assessment of Functioning) and three parent-rated (Adaptability, Metacognition, and Psychosocial) measures of functional impairment. Participants for this study included 59 youth with 6-17 years of age who were receiving a psychoeducational assessment at a clinic in the Southeastern United States. Results were analyzed using a Multivariate Analysis of Covariance. Overall, youth with ADHD + MD had more functional impairment than youth with ADHD + AD or youth with just solely ADHD. Youth with ADHD + AD did not have significantly worse impairment on three of four archetypes of functional impairment compared to those with solely ADHD. Youth with ADHD + MD represent a unique ADHD cohort that has elevated impairment, highlighting the importance of addressing comorbid mood symptoms in the recommendations given during a psychoeducational assessment for ADHD, as well as adjusting the treatment of youth with ADHD and a comorbid internalizing disorder appropriately. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(1):e31, 2015.




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