Journal Mobile Options
Table of Contents
Vol. 39, No. 5, 2006
Issue release date: August 2006
Psychopathology 2006;39:227–235

Predictors of Attention Problems for the Period from Pre-Teen to Early Teen Years

Barnow S. · Schuckit M. · Smith T. · Freyberger H.J.
aDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald, Medical Centre of Stralsund, Stralsund, Germany, and bDepartment of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, Calif., USA

Individual Users: Register with Karger Login Information

Please create your User ID & Password

Contact Information

I have read the Karger Terms and Conditions and agree.

To view the fulltext, please log in

To view the pdf, please log in


Objective: This longitudinal study investigated the scope, persistence, and predictors of attention problems (AP) over a period of time from pre-teen (7–12 years) to early teen years (13–17 years). Method: AP evaluations used the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and a semi-structured interview (C-SSAGA-P) with the parents. In addition, data relating to birth complications, family histories of affective disorders and alcohol-use disorders, home supervision, emotional, social and behavioral problems, school performance and school activities at two different measurement points were also collected. Results: The findings indicate a high degree of comorbidity between AP and emotional and behavioral problems, difficulties in school, social problems and peer rejection. Furthermore, a cross-sectional association between childhood AP and parental affective disorders was also evident. Longitudinally, there was no increase in AP over the age span covered by the study, and symptoms often did not persist over time. Multiple regression analyses confirmed poorer school performance, problems with peers and AP at time point 15 as predictors for subsequent AP. Conclusion: The findings indicate that AP symptoms do not occur more frequently in early teen than in pre-teen years, and tend to be temporary phenomena. Difficulties in school and with peers were noted as particularly strong predictors of subsequent AP.

Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.


  1. Achenbach TM: Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist/4-18 and 1991 profile. Burlington, University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry, 1991a.
  2. Achenbach TM: Integrative Guide for the 1991 CBCL/4-1 and TRF Profiles. Burlington, University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry, 1991b.
  3. Achenbach TM: Child Behavior Checklist and related instruments; in Maruish ME (ed): The Use of Psychological Testing for Treatment Planning and Outcome Assessment. Hillsdale, Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994, pp 517–549.
  4. Achenbach TM, Howell CT, McConaughy SH, Stanger C: Six-year predictors of problems in a national sample of children and youth. 2. Signs of disturbance. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1995;34:488–498.
  5. Achenbach TM, Howell CT, Stephanie MS, McConaughy H, Stanger C: Six-year predictors of problems in a national sample. 4. Young adult signs of disturbance. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1998;37:1–7.

    External Resources

  6. Angold A, Costello EJ, Erkanli A: Comorbidity. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999;40:57–87.
  7. Barkley RA: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; in Mash EJ and Barkley RA (eds): Child Psychopathology. New York, Guilford, 1996, pp 63–112.
  8. Barkley RA: Attention Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook of Diagnostis and Treatment, ed 3. New York, Guilford, 1998.
  9. Barkley RA, Fischer M, Edelbrock CS, Smallish L: The adolescent outcome of hyperactive children diagnosed by research criteria. 3. Mother-child interactions, family conflicts and maternal psychopathology. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1991;32:233–255.
  10. Barnow S, Freyberger HJ: The family environment in early life and aggressive behavior in adolescents and young adults; in Mattson MP (ed): Neurobiology of Aggression: Understanding and Preventing Violence. Totowa, Humana, 2003, pp 213–230.
  11. Barnow S, Schuckit M, Lucht M, John U, Freyberger HJ: The importance of a positive family history of alcoholism, parental rejection and emotional warmth, behavioral problems and peer substance use for alcohol problems in teenagers: a path analysis. J Stud Alcohol 2002;63:305–315.
  12. Barnow S, Lucht M, Freyberger HJ: Correlates of aggressive and delinquent conduct problems in adolescence. Aggress Behav 2005;31:24–39.

    External Resources

  13. Biederman J, Faraone SV, Keenan K, et al: Further evidence for family-genetic risk factors in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): patterns of comorbidity in probands and relatives in psychiatrically and pediatrically referred samples. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1992;49:728–738.
  14. Biederman J, Milberg S, Faraone SV: Family-environment risk factors for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1995;52:464–470.
  15. Biederman J, Faraone S, Milberger S, Curtis S, Chen L, Marrs A, Quellette C, Moore P, Spencer T: Predictors of persistence and remission of ADHD into adolescence: results from a four-year prospective follow-up study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1996;35:343–351.
  16. Biederman J, Mick E, Faraone SV: Depression in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children: ‘true’ depression or demoralization? J Affect Dis 1998;47:113–122.
  17. Bucholz KK, Cadoret R, Cloninger CR, Dinwiddie SH, Hesselbrock VM, Nurnberger JI Jr, Reich T, Schmidt I, Schuckit MA: A new, semi-structured psychiatric interview for use in genetic linkage studies: a report on the reliability of the SSAGA. J Stud Alcohol 1994;55:149–158.
  18. Byrne JM, Bawden HN, Beattie TL, De Wolfe NA: Preschoolers classified as having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): DSM-IV symptom endorsement pattern. J Child Neurol 2000;15:533–538.
  19. Coles CD, Platzman KA, Raskind-Hood CL, Brown RT, Falek A, Smith IE: A comparison of children affected by prenatal alcohol exposure and attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1997;21:150–161.
  20. Curran PJ, Stice E, Chassin L: The relation between adolescent alcohol use and peer alcohol use: a longitudinal random coefficients model. J Consult Clin Psychol 1997;30–40.
  21. Danckaerts M, Heptinstall E, Chadwick O, Taylor E: A natural history of hyperactivity and conduct problems: self-reported outcome. Europ Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2000;9:6–38.
  22. Dodge KA, Pettit GS, Bates JE: Socialization mediators of the relation between socioeconomic status and child conduct problems. Child Dev 1994;65:649–665.
  23. Duncan GJ, Brooks-Gunn J: Family poverty, welfare reform, and child development. Child Dev 2000;71:188–196.
  24. Eisenberg N, Guthrie IK, Fabes RA, Shepard S, Losoya S, Murphy BC, Jones S, Poulin R, Reiser M: Prediction of elementary school children’s externalizing problem behaviors from attentional and behavioral regulation and negative emotionality. Child Dev 2000;71:1367–1382.
  25. Elliott ES, Dweck CS: Goals: an approach to motivation and achievement. J Pers Soc Psychol 1988;54:5–12.
  26. Ennett ST, Bauman KE: The contribution of influence and selection to adolescent peer group homogeneity: the case of adolescent cigarette smoking. J Pers Soc Psychol 1994;67:653–663.
  27. Fergusson DM, Horword LJ: Prospective childhood predictors of deviant peer affiliations in adolescence. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1995;40:581–592.
  28. Fowler MG, Cross AW: Preschool risk factors as predictors of early school performance. J Dev Behav Pediatr 1986;7:237–241.
  29. Gaub M, Carlson CL: Behavioral characteristics of DSM-IV ADHD subtypes in a school-based population. J Abnorm Child Psychol 1997;25:103–111.
  30. Gresham FS, MacMillan DL, Bocien KM, Ward SL, Forness SR: Comorbidity of hyperactivity-impulsivity-inattention and conduct problems: risk factors in social, affective, and academic domains. J Abnorm Child Psychol 1998;26:393–406.
  31. Herrero ME, Hechtman L, Weiss G: Antisocial disorders in hyperactive subjects from childhood to adulthood: predictive factors and characterization of subgroups. Am J Orthopsychiatr 1994;64:510–521.
  32. Hille ET, den Ouden AL, Bauer L, van den Oudenrijn C, Brand R, Verloove-Vanhorick SP: School performance at nine years of age in very premature and very-low-birth-weight infants: perinatal risk factors and predictors at five years of age. Collaborative Project on Preterm and Small for Gestational Age (POPS) Infants in The Netherlands. J Pediatr 1994;125:426–434.
  33. Hinshaw SP: Conduct disorder in childhood: Conceptualization, diagnosis, comorbidity, and risk status for antisocial functioning in adulthood. Prog Exp Pers Psychopath Res 1994;3:3–44.
  34. Hoza B, Pelham WE, Waschbusch DA, Kipp H, Owens JS: Academic task persistence of normally achieving ADHD and control boys: performance, self-evaluations, and attributions. J Consult Clin Psychol 2001;69:271–283.
  35. Hudziak JJ, Heath AC, Madden PF: Latent class and factor analysis of DSM-IV ADHD: a twin study of female adolescents. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1998;37:848–857.
  36. Hudziak JJ, Wadsworth ME, Heath AC, Achenbach TM: Latent class analysis of Child Behavior Checklist. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999;38:985–991.
  37. Jensen PS, Martin D, Cantwell DP: Comorbidity in ADHD: implications for research, practice, and DSM-V. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1997;36:1065–1079.
  38. Klein RG, Mannuzza S: Long-term outcome of hyperactive children: a review.J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1991;30:383–387.
  39. Lahey BB, Carlson CL: Validity of the diagnostic category of attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity: a review of the literature. J Learn Disabil 1991;24:111–120.

    External Resources

  40. Laucht M, Esser G, Schmidt MH: Risiko- und Schutzfaktoren frühkindlicher Entwicklung. Z Kind Jugendpsychiatr Psychotherap 1998;26:6–20.
  41. MacDonald VM, Achenbach TM: Attention problems versus conduct problems as six-year predictors of problems scores in a national sample. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1996;35:1237–1246.
  42. MacDonald VM, Achenbach TM: Attention problems versus conduct problems as six-year predictors of signs of disturbance in a national sample. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999;38:1254–1261.
  43. McCann BS, Roy-Byrne P: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities in adults. Semin Clin Neuropsychiatr 2000;5:191–197.
  44. Melnick SM, Hinshaw SP: What they want and what they get: the social goals of boys with ADHD and comparison boys. J Abnorm Child Psychol 1996;24:169–185.
  45. Moffitt TE: The neuropsychology of conduct disorder. Dev Psychopathol 1993;5:135–151.

    External Resources

  46. Newcorn HJ, Halperin JM, Jensen PS, Abikopf HB, Arnold LE, Cantwell DP, Conners CK, Elliott GR, Epstein JN, Greenhill LL, Hechtman L, Hinshaw SP, Hoza B, Kraemer HC, Pelham WE, Severe JB, Swanson JM, Wellis KC, Wigal T, Vitiello B: Symptom profiles in children with ADHD: effects of comorbidity and gender. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2001;40:137–145.
  47. Offord DR, Boyle MH, Racine Y: Ontario child health study: correlates of disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1989;28:856–860.
  48. Owens JS, Hoza B: The role of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in the positive illusory bias. J Consult Clin Psychol 2003;71:680–691.
  49. Paule MG, Rowland AS, Ferguson SA, Chelonis JJ, Tannock R, Swanson JM, Castellanos XF: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: characteristics, interventions and models. Neurotoxicol Teratol 2000;22:631–651.
  50. Pliszka S: Effect of anxiety on cognition, behavior, and stimulant response in ADHD. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1989;28:882–887.
  51. Pliszka SR: Patterns of psychiatric comorbidity with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin North Am 2000;9:525–540.
  52. Preuss U, Schuckit MA, Smith TL, Barnow S, Danko G: Mood and anxiety symptoms among 146 children from alcoholic and control families. Drug Alcohol Dep 2002;6:235–242.

    External Resources

  53. Rasmussen P, Gillberg C: Natural outcome of ADHD with developmental coordination disorder at age 22 years: a controlled, longitudinal, community-based study.J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2000;39:1424–1431.
  54. Roizen NJ, Blondis TA, Irwin M, Rubinoff A, Kieffer J, Stein MA: Psychiatric and developmental disorders in families of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1996;150:203–208.
  55. Saigal S, Pinelli J, Hoult L, Kim MM, Boyle M: Psychopathology and social competencies of adolescents who were extremely low birth weight. Pediatrics 2003;111:969–975.
  56. Scahill L, Schwab-Stone M, Merikangas KR: Psychosocial and clinical correlates of ADHD in a community sample of school age children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1999;33:976–979.

    External Resources

  57. Scahill L, Schwab-Stone M: Epidemiology of ADHD in school-age children. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin North Am 2000;9:541–555.
  58. Schuckit MA: Biological, psychological and environmental predictors of the alcoholism risk: a longitudinal study. J Stud Alcohol 1998;59:485–494.
  59. Schuckit MA, Smith TL: The relationships of a family history of alcohol dependence, a low level of response to alcohol and six domains of life functioning to the development of alcohol use disorders. J Stud Alcohol 2000;61:827–835.
  60. Spitzer RL, Williams JB, Gibbon M, First MB: The structured clinical interview for DSM-III-R (SCID). 1. History, rationale and description. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1992;49:624–629.
  61. Sprich-Buckminster S, Biederman J, Milberger S, Faraone S, Krifcher Lehman B: Are perinatal complications relevant to the manifestation of ADD? Issues of comorbidity and familiality. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1993;32:1032–1037.
  62. Weiss G, Hechtman L, Milroy T, Perman T: Psychiatric status of hyperactives as adults: a controlled prospective 15-year follow-up of 63 hyperactive children. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1985;24:211–220.
  63. Wills TA, Cleary SD: How are social support effects mediated? A test with parental support and adolescent substance use. J Pers Soc Psychol 1996;71:937–952.
  64. Wolraich ML, Hannah JN, Pinnock TY, Baumgaertel A, Brown J: Comparison of diagnostic criteria for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in a country-wide sample. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1996;35:319–324.

Pay-per-View Options
Direct payment This item at the regular price: USD 38.00
Payment from account With a Karger Pay-per-View account (down payment USD 150) you profit from a special rate for this and other single items.
This item at the discounted price: USD 26.50