Developmental trajectories of ADHD symptoms in a large population-representative longitudinal study

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Background: Previous research has suggested that there is substantial heterogeneity in the developmental trajectories of ADHD symptoms. Sometimes qualitative distinctions between trajectories with different ages of onset and/or patterns of remission are made; however, little is known about the predictors and broader clinical meaningfulness of these candidate ‘developmental subtypes’ of ADHD symptoms.

    Methods:

    We applied latent class growth analysis to data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS; N=11,316; ages 3,5,7,11 and 14) to evaluate whether developmental trajectories of ADHD symptoms differing in early life predictors could be identified. Our optimal model included six trajectory groups, labelled unaffected (34.9% of the sample), mildly affected (24.1%), subclinical remitting (12.8%), pre-school onset partially remitting (14.1%), developmentally increasing (7.6%), and pre-school onset persistent (6.4%).

    Results:

    Factors such as gender, conduct problems, cognitive ability, maternal education, premature birth, peer problems, and school readiness scores differentiated between specific ADHD symptom trajectories.

    Conclusions:

    Taken together, our findings provide preliminary evidence that distinguishing different trajectories of ADHD symptoms could be clinically informative.

  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Murray AL; Hall HA; Speyer LG; Carter L; Mirman D; Caye A; Rohde L