This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.


Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Controversial Diagnosis

Thomas Spencer, M.D.; Joseph Biederman, M.D.; Timothy E. Wilens, M.D.; and Stephen V. Faraone, Ph.D.

Published: August 1, 1998

Article Abstract

The diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults has remained controversial.This paper reviews the empirical evidence to date as to whether the diagnosis of ADHD inadults is valid and consistent with the childhood syndrome. Evidence of descriptive, divergent, predictive,and concurrent validity were examined. The available literature provides evidence that adultADHD can be reliably diagnosed and that the diagnosis confers considerable power to forecast complicationsand treatment response. Studies of genetic transmission, specific treatment responses, andabnormalities in brain structure and function in affected individuals are also consistent with studies inchildhood ADHD. There is converging evidence that adult ADHD is a not rare, valid clinical diagnosis.In addition, studies suggest that adult and child patients with ADHD may share a similar treatment-responsive, underlying neurobiological substrate.

Some JCP and PCC articles are available in PDF format only. Please click the PDF link at the top of this page to access the full text.

Volume: 59

Quick Links: