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ADHD in Swedish 3- to 7-year-old children.

Journal article
Authors Christina Kadesjö
Björn Kadesjö
Bruno Hägglöf
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume 40
Issue 9
Pages 1021-1028
ISSN 0890-8567
Publication year 2001
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Pages 1021-1028
Language en
Keywords Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Psychology, Child, Child Development, Child, Preschool, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Male, Parent-Child Relations, Schools, Severity of Illness Index, Social Behavior
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences, Psychiatry, Child and adolescent psychiatry


Objective: To study characteristics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a representative group of clinically impaired young children in Sweden with the disorder. Method: One hundred thirty-one children with ADHD (aged 3–7 years) were examined, and their parents were interviewed. Independent parent questionnaire data (Child Behavior Checklist, ADHD Rating Scale-IV, Conners) were collected. For comparison 131 children without ADHD were matched for age, gender, parents’ marital status, child’s adoption status, and social class. Results: Children with ADHD had extremely high ADHD symptom levels—on average four to eight times higher than the comparison group. Sociodemographic correlates of ADHD symptoms were more pronounced in parent questionnaire data than in parent interview data, underscoring the importance of diagnostic interview when dealing with clinical issues. Very few of the children with ADHD (6%) appeared “normal” with regard to attention/activity level at clinical examination.Conclusions: Clinic children with a diagnosis of DSMIV ADHD have typical and impairing symptoms already before starting school. The variance of ADHD in this age group appears to be accounted for by primary psychosocial factors only to a limited degree. It would seem reasonable to establish supportive and treatment measures for these young children so that the psychosocial and academic problems shown by so many individuals with ADHD later in their development might be reduced.

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