The relationship between fnancial difficulty and childhood symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a UK longitudinal cohort study
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
© The Author(s) 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Purpose Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with socioeconomic status (SES), in that children who grow up in low SES families are at an increased risk of ADHD symptoms and diagnosis. The current study explores whether different levels of ADHD symptoms are associated with prior changes in the SES facet of financial difficulty. Methods Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we examined symptoms of ADHD measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) hyperactivity subscale in relation to parent-reported changes in financial difficulty, grouped into four repeated measures at four time points across childhood; (n = 6416). A multilevel mixed-effects linear regression model with an unstructured covariance matrix was used to test whether different patterns of financial difficulty were associated with subsequent changes in ADHD symptoms. Results Families who had no financial difficulty had children with a lower average ADHD symptom score than groups who experienced financial difficulty. Children whose families stayed in financial difficulty had higher mean ADHD symptom scores than all other groups (No difficulty mean SDQ hyperactivity 3.14, 95% CI 3.07, 3.21, In difficulty mean SDQ hyperactivity 3.39, 95% CI 3.28, 3.45, p < 0.001). Increasing or decreasing financial difficulty predicted mean symptom scores lower than those of the in difficulty group and higher than the no difficulty group. Conclusions Our findings contribute to the building evidence that SES may influence the severity and/or impairment associated with the symptoms of ADHD, however the effects of SES are small and have limited clinical significance.
This research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Springer via the DOI in this record.
Vol.53 (1), pp.33-44