Some New Studies About ADD/ADHD

Many of you know one of my favorite things to do in my free time (uh, hah!) is to go to PubMed and look up medical studies on whatever catches my fancy of the moment.  Lately, I have been trying to understand even more about ADD/ADHD.  Even though I have treated many children with this challenge from a physical therapy perspective, even though I have had adult friends diagnosed with this condition, I really wanted to understand what was going on in the medical research world about it all.

Here are some studies that caught my eye, and I wanted to share them with you all. 

Here is the first one, entitled “The Delinquency Outcomes of Boys with ADHD with and Without Comorbidity”.

This study was done out of the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University.  It essentially examined the “the association between childhood ADHD and juvenile delinquency by examining data from the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study (PALS), a follow-up study of individuals diagnosed with ADHD in childhood (ages 5-12) and re-contacted in adolescence and young adulthood for yearly follow-up .”  There were 288 participants with childhood ADHD and 209 control subjects.  The study’s findings suggested that “ boys with ADHD-only and ADHD + ODD also appear at a higher risk for later offending.” 

The second study I found was  entitled “Bipolar disorder co-morbidity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” and came out of the neuropsychiatry department of La Scarpetta Hospital in Rome, Italy.  The study of 173 participants plus 100 healthy control subjects found that children with ADHD present a higher risk for developing a “superimposed bipolar disorder.”

The third study I found was this one:  “Self-Regulation of Emotion, Functional Impairment, and Comorbidity Among Children With ADHD” out of the University of North Caroline Greensboro.  According to the authors of this study, this study “investigated the role of self-regulation of emotion in relation to functional impairment and comorbidity among children with and without ADD/HD.”  This study  found that nearly half of the children “affected by AD/HD displayed significantly elevated levels of emotional lability versus 15% of those without this disorder.”  The authors stated that these findings “lent support to the notion that deficits in the self-regulation of emotion are evident in a substantial number of children with AD/HD and that these deficits play an important role in determining functional impairment and comorbidity outcomes.”

So, whilst these studies are dire-sounding, I  think the medical community is researching some important links between ADD/ADHD and the challenges these children face in social interaction and in dealing with emotions and mental health.  These could be things that parents of children with ADD/ADHD would want to be aware of in order to discuss them further with their health care team.

But, I certainly couldn’t just this topic with these studies without remarking on any possible hope……In my next post, I want to share some of the studies I found regarding more natural treatments of ADD/ADHD. 

Do any of you out there have children that have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD?  Would you like to share any comments in the comment boxes below?

Hold those children close and love them,



12 thoughts on “Some New Studies About ADD/ADHD

    • Thank you for that; I think I highlighted that study in a separate post on this blog some time ago…But, starting date does affect homeschoolers and children who go to an outside school alike. Starting date for first grade is a BIG DEAL in the Waldorf world (Waldorf school or Waldorf homeschooling) since that is when formal academics start.
      Thanks for writing in!

  1. My son has been diagnosed with ADHD and we found Occupational Therapy focused on Sensory Work was unbelievable for him. It delayed medication for us for a couple of years. We did sensory work at home as well and continue to do so.

    Diet has also been helpful

    Charts, and charts and more charts-visual schedules for everything from morning routine, to what is for lunch and snacks-ADHD kids, or at least mine, thrive on lists and predictability

    and the most important thing for us has been making sure our expecatations are appropriate for him-he isn’t just like every other boy, so we need to remember that

  2. Hi Carrie,

    Thank you for bringing such an important topic to discussion.

    ( I’ll confess that I am a kindred spirit with you Carrie in loving to take on topics to research in my “free time”)

    Grace, the topic of the “D” labels (ADD, ADHD, OCD, ODD) is so important and such a question and reflection of our times, no?

    Homeschoolers get diagnosed too.

    Sometimes it seems so straight forward, there is so much stress in our world, lights, sounds, machines and so little time to release it in play or in quiet solitude where we can hear that little voice and self regulate that the neurological system (which is connected to immune function and digestion think allergies) is under assault and responds with defense mechanisms that do not serve healthy social growth.

    And so little oppurtunity to run, jump play freely and to turn in and have someone there, really there to help with the overwhelming feeling that it is all too much.

    Kim John Payne calls it soul fever. It happens to all of us. We experience so much stimulation and cannot process it.

    He suggests it is when these little stresses accumulate that we get big disorders.

    Kim John Payne looked at children with labels and then implemented Simplicity Parenting with their families. The outcome was better school work and ability to focus through some simple changes:

    ~Simplify the environment
    ~Implement Rhythm, Boundaries
    ~Minimize out of home activities
    ~Keep children in world of childhood, protect from adult conversations and media

    I’ve just read the excellent book, An Unchanged Mind: The Problem of Immaturity in Adolescence in which the author psychiatrist John A. McKinnon M.D., in his frustration with the management of care by the insurance companies sets out to create something new in treating really tough teens and these are middle class teens who have had lots of oppurtunities in life. He works with child who have strings of labels training them. He finds in the end that what serves children in maturity and developing as human beings is:

    affectionate recognition (connection ~ being seen, heard,felt)
    strong limit setting

    These two approaches are what turn children around.

    Carrie, if you have not read the book, do and I’d love to discuss it if you’re interested.

    How can we bring social renewal that supports the growth of all children?


    • Lisa, I have not read that book and it sounds like a great one! I will let you know when I read it, maybe I can even do it chapter by chapter on this blog after we are done with “Hold On To Your Kids.”

  3. My child has not yet been diagnosed, but our pediatrician is already monitoring him for ADHD and starting to talk to us about it. My son just turned 3. His energy level and fidgeting are a little overwhelming, especially in addition to all of the medical issues we’re facing, but I’m doing all the reading I can now about OT, activities I can do with him at home, changes to diet, changes to my expectations, etc.

  4. We homeschool but know for certain that one of our sons is ADHD and if we went to a therapist or the public schools they would want to medicate him.

    We are working hard each day using behavioral modification and I look forward to reading your thoughts Carrie about natural treatments.

    His father, my husband, has been recently diagnosed with ADD and is taking medication because it was negatively affecting our family’s life – able to stay on task, anger due to frustration, etc… (we don’t know the outcome of this yet and we all wish medication wasn’t the only option for him as an adult… ) But this is the journey we are on and we hope to keep learning more.

    Warm wishes, Tonya

  5. Love pubmed. Used it often in my former career! Why I haven’t researched there for my daughter’s ADHD I am surprised to admit. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Carrie,
    here in Italy I don’t know a single family where ADHD has been diagnosed. Interesting! There has been an issue and a Waldorf movement about and against Ritalin medication but again I’ve never heard any child to whom it has been prescribed.
    I don’t know if in public kindergartens-schools is more frequent. But I’ve many friends in Milan who chose public schools and not even a single diagnosis.

    So I’m wondering if Italian pediatricians, fortunately, aren’t looking for that “disease” or they aren’t recgnising it. I’m simplyfying but I think about these disturbs there’s a big difference between US and Italy.


    • Federica – Did you see two of the studies came out of Rome? Do you know the hospital the studies came out of?
      Carrie 🙂

  7. My husband had ADHD as a child and teenager and after we got married, he was evaluated again and now has ADD. He took medicine all growing up and in college as well. Now he has been off of his medicine for over a year and he’s thinking about going back on it. It is definitely something that can change family life and dynamics, and takes lots of understanding and communication and patience, and lots of love. 🙂

  8. I didn’t know the hospital infact it’s not properly a hospital but a public center for children’s neuropsychiatry. I have then quickly seen that there are centers for ADD-ADHD but I still have the perception the problem is not big and widespread at least among 0-6 kids. Maybe the diagnosis increase at school. Consider that in italian public kindergarten we don’t teach how to read and write. I must admit that even in non Waldorf K, kids play most of their time spent there. Only in some of them there is a kind of pre-writing/pre-reading so children don’t usually sit down in chairs and tables before they go to school when they are 6.
    On one hand Italy might be late in diagnosing ADD-ADHD like once was for dyslexia , on the other hand it might not “exist” here. I mean we aren’t so strongly classifying it yet and considering some behaviours as “normal”for that age.
    I’ll keep an eye on that!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s