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Informants' ratings of activity level in infancy predict ADHD symptoms and diagnoses in childhood

Meeuwsen, Mirjam, Perra, Oliver, Van Goozen, Stephanie H. M. ORCID: and Hay, Dale F. ORCID: 2019. Informants' ratings of activity level in infancy predict ADHD symptoms and diagnoses in childhood. Development and Psychopathology 31 (4) , pp. 1255-1269. 10.1017/S0954579418000597

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We tested the hypothesis that high activity levels in infancy would predict self-regulatory problems and later symptoms of ADHD in a longitudinal study of British families (N = 321). Infants’ activity levels were assessed at 6 months, using three informants’ reports from the Infant Behaviour Questionnaire (IBQ) and Actigraphs during baseline, attention and restraint tasks. At a mean of 33 months, the children were assessed on self-regulatory tasks and at a mean of 36 months three informants reported symptoms of ADHD. At a mean of 7.0 years, the children were assessed on executive function tasks; three informants reported on the child’s symptoms of ADHD; and diagnoses of disorder were obtained using the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA). Informants’ reports of high activity levels at 6 months predicted ADHD symptoms in early childhood and diagnoses of ADHD with clinical impairment at age 7. The IBQ activity scale was also associated with the children’s later performance on self-regulation tasks in early and middle childhood. Activity level in infancy reflects normal variation and is not a sign of psychopathology. However, these findings suggest that further study of the correlates of high activity level in infancy may help identify those children most at risk for disorder.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This article was (co-)authored by Cardiff NDAU researchers
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0954-5794
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 March 2018
Date of Acceptance: 18 March 2018
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 11:47

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