Risky Driving in Adolescents and Young Adults with Childhood ADHD

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ObjectiveTo examine risky driving behaviors and negative driving outcomes in a large sample of adolescents and adults diagnosed in childhood with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) compared with demographically similar controls without ADHD.Methods355 adolescents and young adults of the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study (PALS) (n=203 probands; n=152 controls) were administered the Young Adult Driving Questionnaire. Parent and self-report of current ADHD symptoms and conduct problems were tested as potential mediators of the association between childhood ADHD and negative driving outcomes.ResultsADHD group differences, of small to medium effect size, were found for number of tickets and accidents, and hyperactivity–impulsivity at follow-up emerged as a significant mediator of this association. Current conduct problems were associated with both risky and alcohol-impaired driving.ConclusionsChildhood ADHD elevates risk for driving-related problems, especially when symptoms persist. Co-occurring conduct problems capture some of this risk.

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