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Impact of the DSM-5 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Age-of-Onset Criterion in the US Adolescent Population.

Vande Voort JL, He JP, Jameson ND, Merikangas KR. (2014) J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 53(7) 736-44 Elsevier Inc

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The present study aims to compare the prevalence and clinical correlates of DSM-IV versus DSM-5-defined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and subtypes in a nationally representative sample of US youth based on the age-of-onset criterion.


The sample includes 1,894 participants 12 to 15 years of age from cross-sectional National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) surveys conducted from 2001 to 2004. Data on DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for ADHD were derived from administration of the parental ADHD module of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, Version IV (DISC-IV).


Extension of the age-of-onset criterion from 7 to 12 years led to an increase in the prevalence rate of ADHD from 7.38% (DSM-IV) to 10.84% (DSM-5). Youth with later age of onset did not differ from those with earlier age of onset in terms of severity and patterns of comorbidity. However, the group with later age of onset was more likely to be from lower income and ethnic minority families.


The comparability of the clinical significance of the early and later age-of-onset groups supports the DSM-5 extension of the age-of-onset criterion in ADHD.