NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ991616
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1087-0547
Diagnosis of ADHD in Adults: What Is the Appropriate "DSM-5" Symptom Threshold for Hyperactivity-Impulsivity?
Solanto, Mary V.; Wasserstein, Jeanette; Marks, David J.; Mitchell, Katherine J.
Journal of Attention Disorders, v16 n8 p631-634 Nov 2012
Objective: To empirically identify the appropriate symptom threshold for hyperactivity-impulsivity for diagnosis of ADHD in adults. Method: Participants were 88 adults (M [SD] age = 41.69 [11.78] years, 66% female, 16% minority) meeting formal "DSM-IV" criteria for ADHD combined or predominantly inattentive subtypes based on a structured diagnostic interview keyed to "DSM-IV" (Conners' Adult ADHD Diagnostic Interview for "DSM-IV" [CAADID]). All participants also completed the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS), which was normed on the general adult population and includes subscales for "DSM-IV" inattentive and "DSM-IV" hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. A T-score threshold of 65 (at least 1.5 SD above population mean) on the CAARS "DSM-IV" hyperactive-impulsive dimension was used to identify participants with empirically elevated symptom severity. Results: Of 88 participating adults, 48 (55%) had a T-score of at least 65 (1.5 SD) on the CAARS "DSM-IV" Hyperactive-Impulsive scale. Of these, only 25 (52%) met the "DSM-IV" cutoff of six hyperactive-impulsive symptoms on the CAADID. Thus, approximately half of those who reported empirically elevated hyperactive-impulsive complaints on the CAARS did not concurrently meet the six-symptom DSM-IV cutoff on the CAADID. An alternative cutoff of four hyperactive-impulsive symptoms on the CAADID captured 39 (81%) cases identified by the CAARS. Conclusion: In adults, mandating at least six hyperactive-impulsive symptoms excludes a significant percentage (almost half) of adults who are at least 1.5 SD above the population mean on a dimensional measure of hyperactivity-impulsivity. These data provide a compelling basis for lowering the symptom threshold of hyperactivity-impulsivity for adults in the "DSM-5." (Contains 3 tables.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A