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The presentation of depression symptoms in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: comparing child and parent reports

Fraser, Annie, Cooper, Miriam ORCID:, Agha, Sharifah Shameem ORCID:, Collishaw, Stephan ORCID:, Rice, Frances ORCID:, Thapar, Anita ORCID: and Eyre, Olga 2018. The presentation of depression symptoms in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: comparing child and parent reports. Child and Adolescent Mental Health 23 (3) , pp. 243-250. 10.1111/camh.12253

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) frequently co-occurs with depression, and out- comes are poor when both are present. Little is known about whether depression symptoms present differ- ently in ADHD compared to the general population, or how reliable young people with ADHD are at reporting these symptoms. This study aimed to describe depression symptoms in a clinical ADHD sample compared to a population sample, and compare self-reports of depression symptoms with parent-reports. Methods: Two hundred and forty-nine children with ADHD and their parents completed follow-up questionnaires around 5 years after taking part in a Cardiff University ADHD study. Child depression symptoms were measured using parent- and child-reported Mood and Feelings Questionnaires (MFQ) and compared to a population sample with MFQ data (n = 1460). Within both samples, child- and parent-reported depression symptoms were com- pared. Results: Although the profile of depression symptoms was similar between young people with ADHD and those in the general population, depression symptoms were much more common in the ADHD sample (parent-rated MFQ score = 24.52 vs. 9.39; child-rated = 21.02 vs. 11.86). The most common symptoms in both samples included irritability, restlessness and concentration difficulties, with core depression symptoms such as feeling miserable/unhappy also prominent. Within the ADHD sample, but not the population sample, children reported depression symptoms less frequently than their parents. Conclusions: Young people with ADHD are at high risk of experiencing symptoms of depression but may under-report the severity of their symptoms. Obtaining parent reports of depression symptoms in this group may be important to avoid missing key indica- tors of risk.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1475-357X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 6 October 2017
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 19:24

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