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The impact of ADHD and autism spectrum disorders on temperament, character, and personality development.

Journal article
Authors Henrik Anckarsäter
Ola Ståhlberg
Tomas Larson
Catrin Hakansson
Sig-Britt Jutblad
Lena Niklasson
Agneta Nydén
Elisabet Wentz
Stefan Westergren
C. Robert Cloninger
Christopher Gillberg
Maria Råstam
Published in The American Journal of Psychiatry
Volume 163
Issue 7
Pages 1239-1244
ISSN 0002-953X
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 1239-1244
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.163.7.1...
Keywords Adult, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Autistic Disorder, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Character, Cohort Studies, Comorbidity, Cooperative Behavior, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Exploratory Behavior, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Personality Development, Personality Disorders, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Personality Inventory, Statistics & numerical data, Prevalence, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Retrospective Studies, Temperament
Subject categories Psychiatry

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The authors describe personality development and disorders in relation to symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders. METHOD: Consecutive adults referred for neuropsychiatric investigation (N=240) were assessed for current and lifetime ADHD and autism spectrum disorders and completed the Temperament and Character Inventory. In a subgroup of subjects (N=174), presence of axis II personality disorders was also assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders (SCID-II). RESULTS: Patients with ADHD reported high novelty seeking and high harm avoidance. Patients with autism spectrum disorders reported low novelty seeking, low reward dependence, and high harm avoidance. Character scores (self-directedness and cooperativeness) were extremely low among subjects with neuropsychiatric disorders, indicating a high overall prevalence of personality disorders, which was confirmed with the SCID-II. Cluster B personality disorders were more common in subjects with ADHD, while cluster A and C disorders were more common in those with autism spectrum disorders. The overlap between DSM-IV personality disorder categories was high, and they seem less clinically useful in this context. CONCLUSIONS: ADHD and autism spectrum disorders are associated with specific temperament configurations and an increased risk of personality disorders and deficits in character maturation.

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