To be diagnosed with ADHD, an individual must meet the consensus criteria for ADHD defined by the American Psychiatric Association and published in the DSM-5®, the preeminent guide to psychiatric diagnosis.1
Three presentations of ADHD have been identified depending on the presenting symptoms reported1:
- Predominantly Inattentive
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive
Applying the diagnostic criteria to younger children might not be valid, as some symptoms (eg, those related to inattention) may be hard to detect.1-2
Based on data from one study of 342 Caucasian children and teenagers, ADHD presentation prevalence varied3:
- The Combined ADHD presentation was most prevalent and was seen in approximately 60% of children and teenagers.
- The Predominantly Inattentive presentation was found in approximately 30% of children and teenagers.
- The Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive presentation accounted for only about 10% of ADHD cases in children and teenagers.
In most individuals, motor hyperactivity attenuates, although a subgroup of individuals experiences the full complement of ADHD symptoms into mid-adulthood. When symptoms of hyperactivity are present for teenagers and adults, these symptoms may present as inner restlessness.1
- American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. (DSM-5®). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.
- Subcommittee on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Steering Committee on Quality Improvement and Management. ADHD: clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2011:128(5):1007-1022, SI1-SI21.
- Elia J, Ambrosini P, Berrettini WI. ADHD characteristics: concurrent co-morbidity patterns in children and adolescents. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2008;2(1):1-9.