Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and comorbid disorders in 6-12 year old girls and boys

Kristina Sesar, Arta Dodaj, Damir Sesar

Abstract

Objective – The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to identify comorbid disorders according to subtype of ADHD.

Method – The study sample included 404 children aged from 6-12 years old. Parents completed The Child Behaviour Checklist/4-18 to detect internalizing and externalizing psychological difficulties in children. Assessment of ADHD was performed using the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Test.

Results – ADHD symptoms were found in 15% of girls and 12.1% of boys. The differences in the frequency of different subtype of ADHD in terms of the gender were obtained for the subtype of hyperactivity (Z=-2.075, p=0.038). Boys had more pronounced symptoms of hyperactivity compared to girls. There was no statistically significant gender difference for the subtype of impulsivity (Z=-1.422, p=0.155) and inattention subtype (Z=-0.234, p=0.815). The results obtained showed a higher prevalence of internalized and externalized difficulties with the combined subtypes of ADHD compared to other subtypes.

Conclusion – ADHD is a complex condition, affecting a significant number of children and therefore it needs to be better identified. Children who seek medical or psychological help have at least one or more comorbid disorder and these problems also need to be appropriately identified and treated.

Keywords

ADHD; Internalizing and externalizing psychological difficulties; Comorbidity: Gender

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