Association between autism symptoms and functioning in children with ADHD

Green, Jessica, Sciberras, Emma, Anderson, Vicki, Efron, Daryl and Rinehart, Nicole 2016, Association between autism symptoms and functioning in children with ADHD, Archives of disease in childhood, vol. 10, no. 10, pp. 922-928, doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2015-310257.

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Title Association between autism symptoms and functioning in children with ADHD
Author(s) Green, Jessica
Sciberras, EmmaORCID iD for Sciberras, Emma
Anderson, Vicki
Efron, Daryl
Rinehart, NicoleORCID iD for Rinehart, Nicole
Journal name Archives of disease in childhood
Volume number 10
Issue number 10
Start page 922
End page 928
Total pages 7
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-10
ISSN 1468-2044
Keyword(s) autism
child psychology
comm child health
Summary OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms and (a) social functioning, (b) mental health, (c) quality of life and (d) sleep in children with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

METHODS: Participants were 6-10-year-old children with ADHD (N=164) and without ADHD (N=198). ADHD was assessed via community-based screening (wave 1) and case confirmation using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children IV (DISC-IV) (wave 2). ASD symptoms were identified using the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ). Outcome measures were social functioning (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)), mental health (DISC-IV, SDQ), quality of life (QoL, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0) and sleep problem severity.

RESULTS: Greater ASD symptoms were associated with more parent and teacher-reported peer problems and emotional and conduct problems. For every SD increase in SCQ scores, internalising (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.6, p=0.001) and externalising disorders (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.1, p=0.02) increased, QoL decreased by 6.7 units (p<0.001), and moderate/severe sleep problems increased (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.2, p=0.04). Most findings held in analyses adjusting for socio-demographic factors, ADHD symptom severity and comorbidities (when not the outcome), with the exception of externalising disorders and sleep problems.

CONCLUSIONS: ASD symptoms are associated with poorer functioning in children with ADHD. It is important to identify and potentially manage ASD symptoms in children with ADHD given that they exacerbate functional impairments in this already vulnerable group.
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/archdischild-2015-310257
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
1103 Clinical Sciences
1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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