Category: ADHD - Child

Symposium

Childhood Predictors of Lifetime Risk of Self-Harm: A Longitudinal Analysis of Women With and Without ADHD

Friday, November 17
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom K & L, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Self-Injury | ADHD - Adult | Risk / Vulnerability Factors
Presentation Type: Symposium

Recent findings document that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with self-harm, during adolescence and young adulthood. Such findings appear particularly true for females. Yet little is known about the early childhood predictors of self-harm in women with histories of childhood ADHD. Utilizing data from the Berkeley Girls with ADHD Longitudinal Study (BGALS; N = 228), we characterized lifetime risk of self-harm, including non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicidal ideation (SI), and suicide attempts (SA), in adolescent and young adult women, comparing those with (n = 140) and without (n = 88) childhood ADHD.

At Wave 3 (M age = 19.6, range 17-24), self-harm was assessed via two self-reported measures and at Wave 4 (M age = 25.56, range 21-29), it was assessed via a clinician-administered structured interview. We examined childhood predictors of lifetime risk of self-harm by utilizing measures ascertained at baseline assessment in childhood (Wave 1; M= 9.6, range 6-12). We focused on six predictor domains of interest: early psychopathology (i.e., CBCL externalizing/internalizing, SNAP inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms), childhood trauma, peer social preference, executive functioning, parenting, and self-esteem, each of which has been found to be both (a) impaired in samples with ADHD and (b) a risk factor for self-harm.

Preliminary analyzes using receiver-operating characteristics, indicate that parent rated hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms predict NSSI, qualified by self-esteem measures, such that girls with more than 3.86 hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms and low self-esteem, had a lifetime history of NSSI of 79.4%. For SI, self-esteem was a predictor, moderated by early childhood trauma, such that girls with low self-esteem and more than 2 childhood traumas had a 47% lifetime history of SI. Furthermore, the group with the highest lifetime history of SA (54.5%) had parents who reported higher externalizing and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

Jocelyn I. Meza

Doctoral Candidate
University of California, Berkeley

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Childhood Predictors of Lifetime Risk of Self-Harm: A Longitudinal Analysis of Women With and Without ADHD



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