Psychiatry Investig.  2019 Jun;16(6):425-432. 10.30773/pi.2019.03.26.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom Characteristics in Korean Elementary School Children: Comparison with US Population

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Environmental Health Center, Dankook University Medical Center, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychology, College of Public Human Resources, Dankook University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 5Department of Preventive Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder in elementary school children. The present study investigated the characteristics of ADHD in Korean elementary school children using the Korean version of the ADHD Rating Scale (K-ARS). The data was compared with those obtained from a comparable American population.
Participants included 29,914 elementary school children, aged 6-12 years, from a medium-sized city. The parents completed the home version of the K-ARS. The total and subscale-specific normative data and sex- and age-related mean score differences were analyzed. These data were compared with those obtained from the American population using independent t-tests.
Mean total and subscale K-ARS scores were significantly higher among boys (vs. girls) and younger children aged equal to or less than 8 years old (vs. older children). Mean scores on the hyperactivity-impulsivity subscale were lower than those of American children, but similar to another Korean sample.
Our data characterized ADHD symptoms in Korean children. However, further studies are needed to identify the cultural differences underlying ratings of ADHD symptom severity.


ADHD; Impulsivity; Cross-cultural comparison; Child psychiatry
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