Impact of the DSM-5 attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder age-of-onset criterion in the us adolescent population

Jennifer L. Vande Voort, Jian Ping He, Nicole D. Jameson, Kathleen R. Merikangas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


Objective The present study aims to compare the prevalence and clinical correlates of DSM-IV versus DSM-5-defined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and subtypes in a nationally representative sample of US youth based on the age-of-onset criterion. Method The sample includes 1,894 participants 12 to 15 years of age from cross-sectional National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) surveys conducted from 2001 to 2004. Data on DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for ADHD were derived from administration of the parental ADHD module of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, Version IV (DISC-IV). Results Extension of the age-of-onset criterion from 7 to 12 years led to an increase in the prevalence rate of ADHD from 7.38% (DSM-IV) to 10.84% (DSM-5). Youth with later age of onset did not differ from those with earlier age of onset in terms of severity and patterns of comorbidity. However, the group with later age of onset was more likely to be from lower income and ethnic minority families. Conclusion The comparability of the clinical significance of the early and later age-of-onset groups supports the DSM-5 extension of the age-of-onset criterion in ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-744
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014



  • ADHD
  • age of onset
  • epidemiology
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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