Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The identification of precursors in the early development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Meeuwsen, Mirjam 2015. The identification of precursors in the early development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
Item availability restricted.

[thumbnail of 2015meeuwsenphd.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (3MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of meeuwsen.pdf] PDF - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (113kB)


The principal aim of this thesis was to identify precursors to symptoms of ADHD in early childhood in the context of a longitudinal study of first-born children (the Cardiff Child Development Study; CCDS). Three criteria were used to determine whether an early behaviour could be identified as a precursor. Firstly, the precursors should ‘resemble the later developmental outcome’. In line with features of the disorder, informant-reported and measured high activity levels during a number of tasks (reflecting inattention and impulsivity domains) in infancy were proposed as precursors of ADHD symptoms. Secondly, precursors needed to be associated with ‘well-established risk factors for the later outcome’. Associations with familial symptoms of ADHD and perinatal risk factors were therefore explored. Parental ADHD symptoms predicted ADHD symptoms and executive task performance at 33 months and 7 years of age, but were only related to increased activity levels during a restraint condition at 6 months. Perinatal risk factors predicted toddlers and childrens’ ADHD symptoms, but this was no longer significant when ODD symptoms were taken into account. Higher informant-reported activity levels at 6 months were associated with stress and smoking in late pregnancy, but measured activity levels were not related to perinatal risk. Thirdly, the precursors should show ‘continuity over time’. The relationships with later ADHD symptoms and executive functioning outcomes, measured in toddlerhood and then again at age 7 were therefore explored. Continuity over time was established for informant-reported activity levels at 6 months of age, which predicted later ADHD symptoms, even when ODD symptoms were controlled for. Infants’ measured activity levels did not predict measured activity levels in toddlers, symptoms of ADHD or executive

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 09:50

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics