Psychosocial problems in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with oppositional defiant disorder


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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to clarify psychosocial characteristics of the comorbidity of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) in comparison with ADHD or ODD alone. Thirty-one patients with ADHD comorbid with ODD were compared with 23 ADHD alone and 10 with ODD alone, in terms of various examination items including objective assessment scales. The comorbid group demonstrated higher Children Depression Inventory score and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (state-anxiety) score than the ADHD or the ODD group, possessing more problems in the relationship with teachers than the ADHD group, with friends more than the ADHD or the ODD group, and with their mothers more than the ADHD group and less than the ODD group. School refusal occurred more frequently in the comorbid group than the ADHD group and less than the ODD group. The comorbid group had more psychosocial problems than the ADHD group and the ODD group. These problems could be classified into three types: (i) those derived from ODD, problems in the relationship with teachers; (ii) those derived from ODD but reduced by the coexistence of ADHD, problems in the relationship with their mothers; and (iii) those resulting from the comorbidity of ADHD and ODD, problems in the relationship with friends and anxious and depressive tendency. The difficulties in the relationship with teachers and friends observed in the comorbid group may lead to school refusal.

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