ADHD

Commonly Associated Disorders

Oppositionality and Conduct Problems

Between 45 and 84 percent of children and teens with ADHD have coexisting oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).1 ADHD and ODD occur together in greater incidence in males and the children of divorced parents and mothers with low socioeconomic status.2

Conduct disorder may occur in 15 to 56 percent of children and 44 to 50 percent of teens with ADHD.1 The incidence of combined ADHD and conduct disorder is higher in boys than girls.2

Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Children or teens with ADHD who also present with irritability, frequent tantrums, poor self-esteem, and social withdrawal may have mood problems or disorders (includes depressive and bipolar disorders) or anxiety problems or disorders.

On average, 25 to 35 percent of children with ADHD also have a depressive disorder. 1,3 Bipolar disorder may occur in 6 to 27 percent of those with ADHD.1 Between 10 and 50 percent of children with ADHD will also have an anxiety disorder.1,4

However, the symptoms of these disorders may be similar to those of ADHD. To meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, a child’s or adolescent’s symptoms must have been present before age 7. Behavior or attention problems that arise later can be the result of other problems or disorders and should be investigated for other possible origins, including mood and anxiety disorders.

Learning Disabilities

Approximately 44 percent of children 6 to 17 years old diagnosed with ADHD also had a learning disorder.5

Tics and Tourette Syndrome

Tics and Tourette Syndrome, which both involve sudden, rapid, involuntary movements or vocalizations, are infrequently associated with an ADHD diagnosis. However, 25 to 85 percent of children diagnosed with these disorders also have ADHD.1

References

  1. Barkley, R. A. (2006). Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Third Edition: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
  2. National Resource Center on AD/HD. (2005). What We Know #5B: AD/HD and Coexisting Conditions: Disruptive Behavior Disorders. Landover, MD: National Resource Center on AD/HD.
  3. National Resource Center on AD/HD. (2005). What We Know 5C AD/HD and Coexisting Conditions: Depression. Landover, MD: National Resource Center on AD/HD.
  4. National Resource Center on AD/HD. (2003). What We Know #5: AD/HD and Coexisting Conditions. Landover, MD: National Resource Center on AD/HD.
  5. Pastor, P. N., & Reuben, C. A. (2008). Diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disability: United States, 2004–2006. Vital and Health Statistics, 10 (237).