Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity-disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disability

Maryellen Brunson McClain, Amber M. Hasty Mills, Laura Murphy

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Intellectual Disability (ID) are common co-occurring neurodevelopmental disorders; however, limited research exists regarding the presentation and severity of overlapping symptomology, particularly inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, when a child is diagnosed with one of more of these neurodevelopmental disorders. Aims As difficulties with inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are symptoms frequently associated with these disorders, the current study aims to determine the differences in the severity of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in children diagnosed with ADHD, ASD, ID, and co-occurring diagnosis of ADHD/ID, ASD/ADHD, and ASD/ID. Methods and procedures Participants in the current study included 113 children between the ages of 6 and 11 who were diagnosed with ADHD, ASD, ID, ADHD/ID, ASD/ADHD, or ASD/ID. Two MANOVA analyses were used to compare these groups witih respsect to symptom (i.e., inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity) severity. Outcomes and results Results indicated that the majority of diagnostic groups experienced elevated levels of both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. However, results yielded differences in inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity severity. In addition, differences in measure sensitivity across behavioral instruments was found. Conclusions and implications Children with neurodevelopmental disorders often exhibit inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, particularly those with ADHD, ASD, ASD/ADHD, and ADHD/ID; therefore, differential diagnosis may be complicated due to similarities in ADHD symptom severity. However, intellectual abilities may be an important consideration for practitioners in the differential diagnosis process as children with ID and ASD/ID exhibited significantly less inattention and hyperactive/impulsive behaviors. Additionally, the use of multiple behavior rating measures in conjunction with other assessment procedures may help practitioners determine the most appropriate diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume70
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

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Impulsive Behavior
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Intellectual Disability
Differential Diagnosis
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Aptitude
Disabled Children

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity-disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disability. / McClain, Maryellen Brunson; Hasty Mills, Amber M.; Murphy, Laura.

In: Research in Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 70, 01.11.2017, p. 175-184.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Intellectual Disability (ID) are common co-occurring neurodevelopmental disorders; however, limited research exists regarding the presentation and severity of overlapping symptomology, particularly inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, when a child is diagnosed with one of more of these neurodevelopmental disorders. Aims As difficulties with inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are symptoms frequently associated with these disorders, the current study aims to determine the differences in the severity of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in children diagnosed with ADHD, ASD, ID, and co-occurring diagnosis of ADHD/ID, ASD/ADHD, and ASD/ID. Methods and procedures Participants in the current study included 113 children between the ages of 6 and 11 who were diagnosed with ADHD, ASD, ID, ADHD/ID, ASD/ADHD, or ASD/ID. Two MANOVA analyses were used to compare these groups witih respsect to symptom (i.e., inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity) severity. Outcomes and results Results indicated that the majority of diagnostic groups experienced elevated levels of both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. However, results yielded differences in inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity severity. In addition, differences in measure sensitivity across behavioral instruments was found. Conclusions and implications Children with neurodevelopmental disorders often exhibit inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, particularly those with ADHD, ASD, ASD/ADHD, and ADHD/ID; therefore, differential diagnosis may be complicated due to similarities in ADHD symptom severity. However, intellectual abilities may be an important consideration for practitioners in the differential diagnosis process as children with ID and ASD/ID exhibited significantly less inattention and hyperactive/impulsive behaviors. Additionally, the use of multiple behavior rating measures in conjunction with other assessment procedures may help practitioners determine the most appropriate diagnosis.",
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