How do children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) fare as adults? A study that spanned 33 years and published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that children with ADHD struggle economically, educationally and socially as adults compared to kids without such issues.
The researchers assessed 135 men who were hyperactive in the 1970s at an average age of eight. They were matched with 136 men who had no history of ADHD. Both groups were interviewed when they were 41 years old.
Men with ADHD had less education and lower income. Only 4 per cent of men with ADHD had higher education compared to 29 per cent of their peers.
Divorce, substance abuse and anti-social personality disorder were also more common in the ADHD group. They were also more likely to have hospitalisation for psychiatric help.
But all is not doom. Nearly 80 per cent of the kids with ADHD outgrow their symptoms and go on to lead normal lives. ADHD patients also did not have a higher risk for mood or anxiety disorders as adults.
The findings highlight “the importance of extended monitoring and treatment of children with ADHD”.