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Longitudinal Associations Between COVID-19 Stress and the Mental Health of Children With ADHD

Authors
  • Summerton, Ainsley1
  • Bellows, Susannah T.1
  • Westrupp, Elizabeth M.1, 2
  • Stokes, Mark A.1
  • Coghill, David3, 4, 5
  • Bellgrove, Mark A.6
  • Hutchinson, Delyse1, 4, 7
  • Becker, Stephen P.8, 9
  • Melvin, Glenn1
  • Quach, Jon3, 4
  • Efron, Daryl3, 4, 5
  • Stringaris, Argyris10, 11
  • Middeldorp, Christel M.12, 13
  • Banaschewski, Tobias14
  • Sciberras, Emma1, 3, 4
  • 1 Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia
  • 2 La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC, Australia
  • 3 University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  • 4 Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  • 5 The Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  • 6 Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia
  • 7 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • 8 Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  • 9 University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH, USA
  • 10 University College London, UK
  • 11 National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • 12 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  • 13 Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  • 14 Heidelberg University, Germany
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Attention Disorders
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Apr 25, 2023
Volume
27
Issue
10
Pages
1065–1074
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/10870547231168334
PMID: 37122232
PMCID: PMC10130929
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Current Perspective
License
Unknown

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the longitudinal associations between COVID-19 induced stress (related to COVID-19 restrictions/changes), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, oppositional symptoms, and mental health outcomes (negative affect, anxiety, depression, and irritability) in children with ADHD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: Parents of 140 Australian children with ADHD (aged 5–17 years) completed an online survey in May 2020 during stay-at-home restrictions and 12-months later. Results: Baseline COVID-19 stress was associated with increased total ADHD symptom severity (β = .21, p = .007) and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms (β = .23, p = .002) at 12-months, after accounting for covariates (i.e., child age, gender, ADHD medication, socio-economic status, and baseline symptoms). Despite some indication of associations between baseline COVID-19 stress and 12-month oppositional symptoms and negative affect, these were attenuated when adjusting for baseline symptoms. Conclusions: The study provides initial evidence of the medium-term impacts of pandemic-related stress for children with ADHD.

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