Morehead State University

Poster Title

The Impact of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms on the Adult Self Report Scale for AD/HD

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

Attention Deficit / Hyperactive Disorder (AD/HD) is frequently misdiagnosed in adults. Attention rating scales are currently used in the diagnostic process for adult AD/HD. Difficulties arise when these measures are used in differentiating between primary attention problems in AD/HD and secondary attentional features of psychiatric disorders. Recent work with a broad band AD/HD measure, the Brown ADD Scales, has shown that subclinical symptoms of anxiety and depression are sufficient to yield scores in the highly probable AD/HD. This present study attempted to evaluate the generality of these findings using a narrow band AD/HD screening instrument, the Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) in a quasi-experimental design. ASRS scores were compared among groups of college individuals with AD/HD (n=19), those without AD/HD or depression, but having high levels of trait anxiety (n=20), non-AD/HD students with elevated depressive and trait anxiety symptoms (n=24), non-AD/HD individuals with elevated depressive symptoms with normal levels of trait anxiety (n=18), and a control group without AD/HD or elevated depression or anxiety symptoms (n=24). On the Inattention section of the ASRS, the AD/HD group only scored significantly higher than the low anxiety group and the control group. A similar pattern emerged for the Hyperactive/Impulsive section of the ASRS. These findings are the first to suggest that the reported magnitude of attention problems on the ASRS may be similar in college individuals with AD/HD, and nonAD/HD individuals who report high levels of anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. Further evaluation of this possibility and implications for using the ASRS are discussed.

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The Impact of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms on the Adult Self Report Scale for AD/HD

Attention Deficit / Hyperactive Disorder (AD/HD) is frequently misdiagnosed in adults. Attention rating scales are currently used in the diagnostic process for adult AD/HD. Difficulties arise when these measures are used in differentiating between primary attention problems in AD/HD and secondary attentional features of psychiatric disorders. Recent work with a broad band AD/HD measure, the Brown ADD Scales, has shown that subclinical symptoms of anxiety and depression are sufficient to yield scores in the highly probable AD/HD. This present study attempted to evaluate the generality of these findings using a narrow band AD/HD screening instrument, the Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) in a quasi-experimental design. ASRS scores were compared among groups of college individuals with AD/HD (n=19), those without AD/HD or depression, but having high levels of trait anxiety (n=20), non-AD/HD students with elevated depressive and trait anxiety symptoms (n=24), non-AD/HD individuals with elevated depressive symptoms with normal levels of trait anxiety (n=18), and a control group without AD/HD or elevated depression or anxiety symptoms (n=24). On the Inattention section of the ASRS, the AD/HD group only scored significantly higher than the low anxiety group and the control group. A similar pattern emerged for the Hyperactive/Impulsive section of the ASRS. These findings are the first to suggest that the reported magnitude of attention problems on the ASRS may be similar in college individuals with AD/HD, and nonAD/HD individuals who report high levels of anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. Further evaluation of this possibility and implications for using the ASRS are discussed.