Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Gretchen A. Gimpel
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common reasons for
referral to children's mental health clinics, with an estimated prevalence of 3% to 5% in the
general population of school-age children. Children who exhibit the requisite behaviors may
obtain a diagnosis of ADHD at any age; however, symptom onset must occur before age 7 and
persist for at least 6 months. Despite these temporal requirements for diagnosis, little empirical
information about the manifestation and stability of ADHD symptoms in preschool children
exists. This study provides information about the initial presence and stability over one academic
year of ADHD behaviors in a sample of 290 preschool children rated by mothers and/or teachers.
Data suggest higher levels of these behaviors at home versus school, with behaviors remaining
stable over the course of the academic year at school, and diminishing over this time period at
home. Family environment factors (e.g., socioeconomic status, family stress) were not found to
have strong predictive relationships with levels of ADHD behaviors in this sample of
preschoolers including little support for a directional relationship between dysfunctional
parenting behaviors and child ADHD symptoms. Conclusions and clinical implications of these
finding, are provided and may assist psychologists in their efforts to diagnose and treat this
disorder in young children.
Greenson, Jessica Nicole, "A Longitudinal Study of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms in Preschool-Age Children" (2001). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 6301.
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