High School Students With ADHD: The Group Most Likely to...Fizzle

July 28, 2010

Adolescents with ADHD, conduct disorder, or who smoke cigarettes are less likely to finish high school on time and more likely to drop out altogether, researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine have found.

Adolescents with ADHD, conduct disorder, or who smoke cigarettes
are less likely to finish high school (HS) on time and more likely to drop out altogether, researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine (UC Davis) have found. The researchers analyzed data collected during 2001 and 2002 from the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions to examine the “joint predictive effects of childhood and adolescent onset psychiatric and substance use disorders on failure to graduate [on time].”1

Together with colleagues, lead investigator Joshua Breslau, PhD, ScD, medical anthropologist and psychiatric epidemiologist in the department of internal medicine at UC Davis, reported in the July issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research that of a total of 29,662 respondents, about one third (32.3%) of students with combined-type ADHD were more likely to drop out of HS than students with other psychiatric disorders. This figure was twice that of teens with no reported mental health problems (15%) who did not graduate. Students with conduct disorder were the second at-risk group (31%) to drop out or not finish on time. Cigarette smokers were third in line, with a staggering 29% who did not finish HS in a timely manner.

Reference1. Breslau J, Miller E, Joanie Chung WJ, Schweitzer JB.Childhood and adolescent onset psychiatric disorders, substance use, and failure to graduate high school on time. J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print].

Details available at:http://universityofcalifornia.edu/sites/uchealth/2010/07/26/adhd-school-dropouts/Related content:Exploring the Link Between Conduct Disorder in Adolescence and Personality Disorders in Adulthood