Changes in ADHD symptom endorsement: Preschool to school age

Jocelyn T. Curchack-Lichtin, Anil Chacko, Jeffrey M. Halperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate endorsement patterns among the 18 DSM-IV symptoms of ADHD in a longitudinal sample of children with and without ADHD (n=144), as assessed at ages 4-5, 5-6, and 6-7 years. Symptom endorsements and diagnoses were determined at all time-points via K-SADS-PL interview administered to parents and supplemented by teacher questionnaires and clinician observations. Changes in endorsement patterns over time for each of the 18 DSM-IV symptoms were ascertained. Several symptoms, particularly those of inattention, were infrequently endorsed and of apparently limited diagnostic utility at ages 4-5; hyperactive/impulsive symptoms were more frequently endorsed among young children with ADHD than were inattentive symptoms. However, by ages 6-7, inattention items were somewhat superior at discriminating ADHD from Non-ADHD children. Several DSM-IV and now DSM-V symptoms provide limited diagnostic differentiation prior to school-Age, particularly those most commonly observed in the context of formal schooling. Consideration should be made in future iterations of the DSM that account for such developmental and contextual differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-1004
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • ADHD
  • Diagnosis
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Preschool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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