ERIC Number: ED505317
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Prevalence of Hyperactivity-Impulsivity and Inattention Among Canadian Children: Findings from the First Data Collection Cycle (1994-1995) of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. Final Report
Romano, Elisa; Baillargeon, Raymond H.; Tremblay, Richard E.
Human Resources Development Canada
Hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention are among the most common behaviour problems in children. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention in the Canadian population of 2-11-year-old girls and boys, using data from the first National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) collection cycle (1994-1995). Latent class analyses indicated that an unrestricted three-class model provided an adequate fit to the hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention data for the majority of 2-11-year-old girls and boys. The preferred 3-item-combination for hyperactivity-impulsivity included: Can't sit still, is restless, or hyperactive; Has difficulty awaiting turn in games or groups; and Cannot settle to anything for more than a few moments. The preferred 3-item-combination for inattention included: Can't concentrate, can't pay attention for too long; Stares into space; and Is inattentive. The first latent class (i.e., low) included children who did not tend to manifest hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive behaviours. The second latent class (i.e., medium) included children who tended somewhat to manifest hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive behaviours. The third latent class (i.e., high) included children who tended often to manifest hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive behaviours. Findings indicated that between 5% and 17% of 2-11-year-old girls and between 9% and 23% of 2-11-year-old boys often manifested hyperactive-impulsive behaviours. The majority of children, however, either did not manifest hyperactive-impulsive behaviours or did so only on an occasional basis. We found a similar pattern of results for inattention. Specifically, between 1% and 18% of 2-11-year-old girls and between 1% and 14% of 2-11-year-old boys often manifested inattentive behaviours. However, the majority of children either did not manifest inattentive behaviours or did so only occasionally. Our results indicate that children differ in their probability of manifesting hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive behaviours. As such, it may be important to view hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive behaviours along a continuum of increasing frequency rather than as behaviours that are either present or absent in a child. The results of our study have several important public policy implications. We provided estimates of the prevalence of hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention separately for 2-11-year-old girls and boys from the Canadian population. These prevalence estimates may help guide decisions about the needs of children with behaviour problems with regard to treatment interventions and to efforts aimed at preventing the worsening of behaviour problems over time. Additionally, we provided a means of identifying children with problematic hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive behaviours. Given the limited public resources that currently exist for mental health services, our findings may help public policy makers to best channel resources toward children who are most in need. Two appendixes are included: (1) Posterior Conditional Probability Estimates for Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Under the Unrestricted Three-Class Model; and (2) Posterior Conditional Probability Estimates for Inattention Under the Unrestricted Three-Class Model. (Contains 19 tables, 1 figure and 1 footnote.
Descriptors: Incidence, Probability, Public Policy, Health Services, Conceptual Tempo, Females, Mental Health Programs, Hyperactivity, Males, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Foreign Countries, Behavior Problems, Child Behavior, Young Children, Preadolescents, Attention Span, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Gender Differences, Computation
Human Resources Development Canada. Service Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0J9, Canada. Tel: 1-800-926-9105; Fax: 613-941-1827; Web site: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Human Resources Development Canada, Applied Research Branch
Identifiers - Location: Canada