Introduction

Based on the recent manuals on diagnosing psychiatric disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. (ADHD) has been described as the most common neurological disorder in children. This disorder is associated with symptoms such as forgetfulness, a continuous history of hypersensitivity, impulsiveness, inattention and easy distractibility. In the past, this disorder was considered a childhood illness that was perceived to fade off as one approached adolescence (Jahangard, 2013). However, recent research has ascertained the possibility of the disorder is persisting into adulthood. Various research done in Asia have cited that the prevalence of ADHD among children is similar to the global prevalence index. However, the prevalence of this disorder remains a controversial matter across the globe. According to the DSM-IV, the prevalence stands at 3-5 percent.

Although these figures are widely accepted by the scientific community, there is still a high degree of variability. In this case, several studies have cited high variable rates ranging from as low as 1% to as high as 20% among school going children (Jahangard, 2013). Further studies comparing the prevalence rate among children and adults have put the figures at 3% to 1% among children and 4-5% among adults. With the discovery that ADHD often persists into adulthood, the disorder has been largely researched. According to studies, adults who experience the disorder during their childhood often have personal, domestic and social challenges. This is attributed to the fact that children suffering from ADHD are more likely to face social and psychological disturbances during their developmental years (Abdekhodaie, 2012). The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is common among children, and it is an important problem in the cognitive health of society. Since it affects other aspects of the society such as family and school.

With the discovery that ADHD often persists into adulthood, the disorder has been largely researched. According to studies, adults who experience the disorder during their childhood often have personal, domestic and social challenges. This is attributed to the fact that children suffering from ADHD are more likely to face social and psychological disturbances during their developmental years (Abdekhodaie, 2012). The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is common among children, and it is an important problem in the cognitive health of society. Since it affects other aspects of the society such as family and school.

Among a sample of Iranian students, adult Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is related to childhood ADHD, but not to age, gender, socioeconomic status, or birth order

Aim

This study aimed at exploring the prevalence of ADHD among young adult Iranian students as well as to examine the influence of factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status and history of ADHD in adult ADHD.

Hypotheses

Adult attention deficit disorder is related to childhood ADHD and not age, gender, socioeconomic status or family history.

Participants

Prior to the study, 400 students from Hamadan University of Medical Sciences in Iran were approached. Out of this387 (96.75%) with a mean age of 19.59 years consented to participate in the study. Out of the total percentage, female participants accounted for 66% while the males accounted for 34 percent. All the participants handed in written informed consent after being informed of their voluntary participation in the study.

Measures

The study participants completed two types of questionnaires. One was to assess the current ADHD. In this case, they filled a Self-Report Scale Symptom checklist for adult ADHD. The second questionnaire was to assess the ADDD in childhood. In this case, they competed the Wender Utah Rating Scale. This questionnaire had 61 items to which responses were given on a 5-point-Likert scale in which 0 represented “not at all or very slightly.” whereas four represented “very much.” Further, scores above 4 reflected more marked ADHD in childhood. Based on the design of the questionnaire, a score of 46 indicated presence of the disorder in childhood. The validation of both questionnaires was done in Farsi.

Data collection procedure

The data was collected through filling questionnaires. On the other hand, independent psychologists conducted face-face interviews in order to determine current ADHD using theWender – Reimherr structured interview. In addition, the Reimherr Attention Deficit Disorder

Scale (WRAADDS) was used to examine factors such as temper, restlessness, mood, over-reactivity and,impulsivity.

Results

The prevalence rate of adult ADHDamong the participants was found to be 16.5%. Based on gender distribution, the prevalence of current ADHD did not differ significantly between ages. On the other hand, age did not correlate significantly with the ASRSor Wender scales. Further, the prevalence of current adult ADHD did not correlate with birth order of SES. However, both reports found that childhoodADHDwas correlated with current ADHD.

Discussion

This research found that in a sample of young Iranian students, adult ADHD had a high prevalence rate. However, factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status and birth order had no association with the disorder. Contrary to other findings, the prevalence rates presented in this case were higher. However, they were as high as those recorded in a study conducted among male Iranian prisoners.

Considering that this was the first study to be done on Iranian students, one could assume that this highly selective sample of people. is highly at risk of developing the disorder. However, considering the high adaptability nature of the disorder, the high prevalence rate recorded seems to be at odds with the academic demands which require high labels of sustained attention and endurance. Findings of previous research do not support the predicted high prevalence rate for ADHD among males than among female students.

Therefore, lack of deeper understanding of this data stands as one of the limitations of the current study that also applies in the case of the association of ADHD with socioeconomic status. In this case, the study could not confirm the higher ADHD prevalence rates among students from higher socioeconomic status. This scenario is also not supported by previous research.

One of the strengths of the current study is that it accepts the hypothesis that adult ADHD is related to childhood ADHD. In this case, it nullifies the assumption that other factors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status and birth order contribute to the onset of ADHD. However, the sample selection poses a serious limitation to the study. Despite the intriguing findings, there are several considerations that warrant against generalization of results. Therefore, the data should be interpreted with much caution. Evidently, the sample consists of highly selective participants. The young Islamic students from the medical course do not reflect the entire young adult population. On the other hand, the participants were not assessed based on their psychiatric abilities, and such assessment should be part of future research.

Conclusion

From the study, it is evident that there is a correlation between the prevalence of adult ADHD and childhood ADHD. In this case, if an individual suffers the disorder during gas childhood, the condition will most likely persist into adulthood. However, it is important to note that creative discoveries and unusual solutions in various tasks have been proved to be higher. Among adolescents suffering from this disorder than among controls. Therefore, despite the high speculation, it is possible that ADHD and academic performance are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In summary, the current findings require further research in order to determine the correlation between this disorder and academic success.

The investigation of ADHD prevalence in kindergarten children in Northeast Iran. And a determination of the criterion validity of Conners’ questionnaire via clinical interview

Aim

To investigate the prevalence of ADHD among kindergarten children in North Eastern Iran. And to determine the criterion validity of Conners’ questionnaire through clinical interview.

Hypothesis

There is a high prevalence of ADHD among kindergarten children in North Eastern Iran, and the criterion validity of Conners’ questionnaire can be confirmed through the use of clinical interviews.

Participants

In this cross-sectional descriptive study, 155 kindergarten schools from ten urban areas in North East Iran were selected as the sample population. This comprised of a total of 4143 children between the ages of 5-6 years. Based on random cluster sampling, 34 kindergartens were selected, consisting of total of 1275 children. Further elimination was done to end up with 150 children who a clinical interview.

Measures

The Conners’ parent-teacher questionnaire was used in the diagnosis if ADHD among the children. The questionnaire consisted of 10 items with four subsections namely activity, concentration, attention, and impulsivity. In this case. The DSM-IV-TR criteria were applied to the parents’ responses as well as the students’ responses during the clinical interview.

Data Collection Procedure

The first step was the completion of theConners’ parent-teacherquestionnaires. Based on the DSM-IV-TR criteria, the symptoms in children were considered in the home and school context in order to ensure adequate assessment. The second step involved the random selection of 150 children. In this case, half of them scored below the specified cut-off which was chosen based on the ROC curve. The others scored above the cut-off limit. The children and parents were then invited for a semi-structured interview which was based on the DSM-IV-TR criteria over a six months period.

Results

Based on the Conners’ questionnaire, a total of 133 participants attained the minimum required score for ADHD diagnosis. In this case, and prevalence of ADHD among the boys was higher than that of girls, therefore indicating a significant difference based on gender.

Discussion

Over the past five decades, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has grown to become one of the most important conditions under psychological research. This has been attributed to its childhood effects on adulthood. According to research, adults who suffered the conditions when they were children face many challenges in their lives. Further research has suggested that most clients who visit psychiatric facilities are children suffering from ADHD. Therefore, the condition is considered an important problem in the society since it affects people in all aspects of their lives.

The results from this study are in consistence with previous research. The generalization of this rule to the entire population confirms the fact that the prevalence of ADHD among kindergarten children in North East Iran is high. Research has shown that symptoms associated with ADHD such as aggression, irritability, inattentiveness and antisocial behavior often persist into adulthood. There is also an increased likelihood of such persons being involved in crime, addiction, and other mental conditions. Therefore, children with this condition should not be considered as people with superior activity, nor will their condition improve with time. 

Consequently, it is critical to identify a valid scale to assess the symptoms of ADHD. One of the main strength of this research is that it was able to confirm the predictive criterion validity of the questionnaire. Its validity was estimated to be at 90.3%, thus making the questionnaire a suitable tool for primary screening. On the other hand, this study enabled a complete evaluation of the condition due to the high sensitivity and specificity of the rating scales. This can be done through completion of the questionnaire by teachers, parents, and children since they contribute to the accuracy of the final results.

However, this tool can be used in screening pre-school children, especially in large numbers. One of the limitations of this study is that it did not investigate the medical histories of the children. This could be of particular significance since some medical conditions have a potential of affecting behavior are in some cases associated with ADHD symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, and developmental disorders.

Conclusion

Common childhood conditions such as ADHD have a potential of causing lifetime conditions. Therefore, it is important to determine their prevalence rate among children through the most useful methods in order to aid in diagnosis that assists in the prevention of future effects. The results of the current study indicate a high prevalence of ADHD among kindergarten children in North East Iran. The research utilized the Conners’ parent-teacher questionnaire which had ten items for the primary screening of the condition. The validity of this assessment tool was confirmed through the use of clinical interviews. The study, therefore, accepts the hypothesis that there is a high prevalence of ADHD among the sample population, and the tool used for the primary screening of the condition was most effective.

References

Abdekhodaie, Z., Tabatabaei, S. M., & Gholizadeh, M. (2012). The investigation of ADHD prevalence in kindergarten children in northeast Iran and a determination of the criterion validity of conners’ questionnaire via clinical interview.Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33(2), 357-361. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2011.10.006 

Jahangard, L., Haghighi, M., Bajoghli, H., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., & Brand, S. (2013). Among a sample of Iranian students, adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is related to childhood ADHD, but not to age, gender, socioeconomic status, or birth order—An exploratory study.International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 17(4), 273-278. doi:10.3109/13651501.2013.800555 

Kousha, M., Shahrivar, Z., & Alaghband-rad, J. (2012). Substance use disorder and ADHD: Is ADHD a particularly ‘specific’ risk factor?Journal of Attention Disorders, 16(4), 325-332. doi:10.1177/1087054710387265