Functional Impairments in Adults With Self-Reports of Diagnosed ADHD: A Controlled Study of 1001 Adults in the Community
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(4):524-540
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: The objective of this study
was to evaluate functional impairments in a nonreferred sample of adults identifying
themselves as having been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by a
clinician in their community.
Method: We completed a survey in April
and May 2003 of a community sample of 500 adults who reported having received a diagnosis
of ADHD in the community and 501 gender- and age-matched comparisons from a national
sample representative of the U.S. population.
Results: Adults with self-reports of
diagnosed ADHD in the community were significantly
less likely to have graduated high school (83% vs.
93% of controls; p < = .001) or obtain a college
degree (19% vs. 26%; p < .01), were less likely to be
currently employed (52% vs. 72%; p < = .001), and had significantly more mean job changes over
10 years (5.4 vs. 3.4 jobs; p < = .001). They also
were significantly more likely to have been
arrested (37% vs. 18% of controls; p < = .001) or
divorced (28% vs. 15%; p < = .001) and were
significantly less satisfied (p < = .001) with their family,
social, and professional lives.
Conclusion: Adults who reported having
received a diagnosis of ADHD in the community had significant impairment in multiple domains
of functioning compared with age- and gender-matched controls without this diagnosis,
highly consistent with findings derived from
carefully diagnosed referred samples.