Only about 10% of children with ADHD outgrow the disorder in adulthood

A new study headed by researchers at the University of Washington found that the majority of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) don’t outgrow the disorder as they transition into adulthood.

First publicized online in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study began by following a group of 558 children diagnosed with ADHD for a span of 16 years. The participants were 8 years of age at the start of the study and age 25 by its end phase.

Every two years, the participants took part in numerous assessments to test for any symptoms of ADHD.

“The authors identified participants with fully remitted, partially remitted, and persistent ADHD at each time point on the basis of parent, teacher, and self-reports of ADHD symptoms and impairment, treatment utilization, and substance use and mental disorders,” the co-authors mentioned in their findings.

“Longitudinal patterns of remission and persistence were identified that considered context and timing.”

The findings uncovered about 10.8 percent of the participants had outgrown the disorder, with most participants, or 63.8 percent, having demonstrated fluctuating periods of remission and recurrence throughout the study.

“Although intermittent periods of remission can be expected in most cases, 90% of children with ADHD in MTA continued to experience residual symptoms into young adulthood,” researchers concluded in their findings.

The study was published online on August 13th, 2021.

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