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Leaving hyperactivity behind.


Leaving hyperactivity behind

Young boys with hyperactivity have more than their share of problems in concentrating, keeping a rein on their impulses and sitting still during school lessons. On top of their early difficulties, a recent study found that boys diagnosed as hyperactive between ages 6 and 12 were twice as likely as nonhyperactive boys to have psychiatric disorders as they approaced adulthood, between the ages of 16 and 23 (SN: 10/19/85, p.245). in addition to a continuing excess of hyperac- tivity, the former group was more likely to abuse drugs and engage in recurring delinquent and aggressive acts.

Not a bright picture, but the January ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY contains some encouraging news from the same study. in the group of 101 hyperactive boys, those who had no psychiatric disorders in adolescence and young adulthood-a total of 52-were about as well adjusted as the 80 nonhyperac- tive boys who continued to be free of psychiatric disorders. Another 20 subjects from the nonhyperactive group were excluded from the comparison because of psychiatric prob- lems that emerged during adolescence.

Interviews with each subject and one or both of his parents, as well as a review of school records, indicated that former hyperactives and controls were no different in a number of areasD: job adjustments, control of temper outbursts, delin- quency, violent behavior and drug use, including alcohol. Former tendency to be "on the go," but not to ghe point that it disrupts work or school functioning, say Salvatore Mannuzza of the New York State Psychiatric institute in New York City and his colleagues. Academic achievement and extracurricular activity in high school was, however, higher among the controls.

The findings contradict a theory held by some researchers that hyperactive children who shed the full-blown disorder in their teenage years still tend to have lingering problems, such as frequent drug use or symptoms of deprssion.
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Title Annotation:may not affect behavior of boys in their later years
Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 6, 1988
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