Children with ADHD - What Does Their Future Hold?
Several studies have been published which follow the lives of ADHD kids into adulthood. Find out what this diagnosis may mean for future employment, substance abuse, injuries and more.
Date: 7/1/2007 2:25:02 PM ( 16 y ) ... viewed 2608 times
As many as 50% of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults. Several studies have been published which follow the lives of ADHD kids into adulthood. The findings of these studies are a bit disheartening. However, they do serve to emphasize just how important it is to find treatment methods that help your ADHD child, whether it be stimulant ADHD meds, behavioral or psychological interventions, or alternative approaches such as diet modification and homeopathy.
Prognosis for people with ADHD:
Education -- Follow-up studies of children with ADHD into adolescence consistently indicate impaired academic functioning: -completion of less schooling -lower achievement scores -failure of more courses
In the studies in which subjects were followed into adulthood, the findings persisted: -more teens with ADHD drop out of high school -less adults with ADHD have completed a bachelor's or higher level degree
Employment -- In studies that followed children with ADHD into adulthood, the employment rate did not differ between ADHD & non-ADHD adults. However, those with ADHD were reported to have lower status jobs and to perform poorly compared to controls when rated by their employers in various areas of work performance.
Antisocial personality -- Children who have ADHD are at increased risk to develop antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and behaviors in adulthood.
In another study, 54% of ADHD patients have been arrested at least once by the time they turn 21 (compared to 37% of non-ADHD adults).
Substance use -- Whether children with ADHD have an increased risk of substance abuse during adolescence or adulthood is controversial. The increased prevalence of substance use is present predominantly among those who also have conduct or antisocial disorders.
The risk of engaging in substance use in adolescence appears to be related to the pharmacologic treatment of ADHD. The pooled results of 6 studies indicate a 1.9-fold reduction in substance use disorders among those who received pharmacotherapy compared with those who did not.
Injuries -- Children with ADHD are at greater risk for incurring intentional and unintentional injury than are children without these symptoms.
Driving -- Adolescents with ADHD are two to four times more likely than those without the disorder to have motor vehicle accidents. They also are more likely to have their driving licenses suspended or revoked. Driving errors due to inattention are significantly reduced in adolescent males with ADHD on medication.
Note: much of the information about the prognosis of children with ADHD is derived from studies of male patients so it is unknown if the above information pertains to females as well.
Source: Krull, K. Overview of the treatment and prognosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. UpToDate 2007.
About the Author
Nicole Evans is an alternative medicine researcher/developer turned medical student. In her spare time she works with King Bio, a homeopathic company dedicated to empowering people to safely and naturally improve their health. Visit
to treat ADHD homeopathically.
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