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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Other Disruptive Disorders 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Disruptive Behavior Disorders  

attention deficit hyperactivity disorderAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) form the attention deficit and disruptive behavior disorders according to the DSM IV-TR. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the other two are the most popular disorders of childhood as well as some of the more highly research areas of childhood psychopathology. Current research is beginning to find that these disorders may also continue into adulthood.  While the core features of these three disorders have not changed significantly, the criteria continue to evolve and develop with each subsequent edition of the DSM.  The criteria of the new DSM IV- TR defines attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity of a higher level of severity and more frequently displayed than with individuals at a comparable level of development.  Similar to the earlier edition of the DSM-IV, the three subtypes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are identified as the following: (1) predominantly hyperactive /impulsive type, (2) predominantly inattentive type, and (3) a combined type. In order for an individual to qualify for the diagnosis, at least some of the symptoms must have occurred prior to the age of seven and must cause some level of impairment.  Also, some of the symptoms causing impairment must be evident in several different environments including social or academic/occupational functioning.  While ADHD may be diagnosed in individuals of any age group, it becomes significantly more difficult to establish the childhood onset in older individuals. 

Why should we group attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with other disruptive behavior disorders? 

Some of the reasons for combining attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with other disruptive behavior disorders is that they overlap symptoms in a significant way in many cases.  For example, academic difficulties, poor social skills, and an overrepresentation among males are predominant features of all of these disorders.  It is very prominent in all three of these conditions along with other common core symptoms.  As may be expected, there is a high level of comorbidity among these three behavior disorders also.  There has been much debate about whether these three disorders are as distinct from each other as early researchers believed. There has been significant consensus that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder are very distinct diagnoses, although the relationship with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) with the other two is less clear.  Subsequent research seems to indicate that ODD is quite different from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder (CD) but it is still less than conclusive.  However, the impairment criterion added to the DSM-IV helps to distinguish the boundary of oppositional defined disorder (ODD) from normalcy.

Some information from DSM-IV-TR Mental Disorders Diagnosis, Etiology & Treatment

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

Web Psychtreatment.Com

Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: Alphabetical

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