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Irritability in ADHD: Associations with depression liability

Eyre, Olga, Langley, Kate ORCID:, Stringaris, Argyris, Leibenluft, Ellen, Collishaw, Stephan ORCID: and Thapar, Anita ORCID: 2017. Irritability in ADHD: Associations with depression liability. Journal of Affective Disorders 215 , pp. 281-287. 10.1016/j.jad.2017.03.050

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Background: Irritability and the new DSM-5 diagnostic category of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) have been conceptualised as related to mood disorder. Irritability is common in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but little is known about its association with depression risk in this group. This study aims to establish levels of irritability and prevalence of DMDD in a clinical sample of children with ADHD, and examine their association with anxiety, depression and family history of depression. Methods: The sample consisted of 696 children (mean age 10.9 years) with a diagnosis of ADHD, recruited from UK child psychiatry and paediatric clinics. Parents completed the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment, a semi-structured diagnostic interview, about their child. This was used to establish prevalence of DMDD, anxiety disorder and depressive disorder, as well as obtain symptom scores for irritability, anxiety and depression. Questionnaires assessed current parental depression, and family history of depression. Result: Irritability was common, with 91% endorsing at least one irritable symptom. 3-month DMDD prevalence was 31%. Children with higher levels of irritability or DMDD were more likely to have comorbid symptoms of anxiety, depression and a family history of depression. Limitations: Results are based on a clinical sample, so may not be generalizable to children with ADHD in the general population. Conclusions: Irritability and DMDD were common, and were associated with markers of depression liability. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine the association between irritability and depression in youth with ADHD as they get older.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: ADHD; DMDD; Irritability; Depression
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC-BY license.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-0327
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 April 2017
Date of Acceptance: 24 March 2017
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 11:37

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