Psychiatry Investig.  2018 May;15(5):470-475. 10.30773/pi.2017.11.01.1.

The Symptom Trajectory of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Korean School-Age Children

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Environmental Health Center, Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychology, Dankook University College of Public Human Resources, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.


We aimed to investigate symptom trajectory of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Korean school-age children.
Four hundred fifty six elementary school children were enrolled when they were in 1st grade and assessed once per year until 4th grade. Symptom severity was assessed by parents using the Korean version of the ADHD rating scale (K-ARS). High-risk was defined as a K-ARS score >18; 377, 325, and 284 children participated in the subsequent assessments. Symptom trajectory was analyzed using a mixed-model approach consistent with the longitudinal nature of the present study including missing data.
K-ARS scores demonstrated significant main effects of time (F=35.33; p < 0.001), sex (F=20.77; p < 0.001), and first-year high-risk group (F=240.90; p<0.001). It also demonstrated a significant time×first-year high-risk group interaction effect (F=38.14; p < 0.001), but not a time×sex interaction effect.
K-ARS scores demonstrated a tendency to decline with aging. Individuals in the high-risk group demonstrated earlier declining tendency than those in the non-high risk group. Although total K-ARS scores differed significantly between the sexes at all assessments, the declining pattern between both sexes did not differ significantly. Further studies including larger sample sizes, diagnostic interviews, and complete data sets are needed to confirm findings of the present study.


ADHD; Symptom trajectory; School-age children
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