Gender and Age Differences in ADHD Symptoms and Co‑occurring Depression and Anxiety Symptoms Among Children and Adolescents in the BELLA Study
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. Current studies addressing gender and age differences in ADHD are lacking. The present study aims to fill this research gap by dimensionally evaluating gender and age differences in ADHD symptoms, as measured by a DSM-5-based parent rating scale, in children and adolescents who participated in the two-year follow-up of the community-based BELLA study (n = 1326). Associations between ADHD symptoms and depression symptoms and anxiety symptoms were also examined. Multiple linear regressions revealed significant associations between gender and all ADHD symptoms. Age was significantly associated with hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. Additional multiple linear regressions demonstrated significant positive associations between depression and anxiety symptoms and ADHD symptoms. Further, female gender was found to be posi- tively associated with both depression and anxiety symptoms. These findings may suggest a need for more gender-specific approaches to ADHD diagnosis and treatment, as well as more research into the intersections of ADHD and depression and anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents.
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