In adolescents with ADHD, personal characteristics of resilience — spanning self-esteem, structured style and social competence — may be protective factors during transition to early adulthood, reports a recent Norwegian study.
This longitudinal study, conducted at St Olav’s University Hospital in Norway, aimed to examine whether self-reported self-esteem (belief in oneself), structured style (organised/aim-orientated), and social competence (successful interactions) were predictors of a more favourable outcome in adolescents with ADHD, and with better psychosocial functioning and less anxiety/depression in young adulthood. Overall, 190 patients aged 13–18 years with clinically referred ADHD took part in follow-up diagnostic interviews which encompassed the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (present and lifetime version) and the Children’s Global Assessment Scale.
The study found that adolescents with ADHD who had the most severe psychosocial functioning during the 3-year follow-up had lower self-esteem* (p=0.005) and a low degree of structured style* (p=0.048). Additionally, female gender and older age were associated with lower psychosocial functioning (p=0.005 for both). Moreover, adolescents with ADHD and lower self-esteem had higher odds for depressive disorders during the follow-up period (p=0.038), while patients with lower social competence* had higher odds for anxiety disorders (p=0.032). Again, females had higher odds for both depressive (p<0.001) and anxiety (p=0.006) disorders.
The findings from this article are limited by the low response rate of the baseline sample as well as the self-reporting aspects. Despite this, researchers concluded that better self-esteem may protect from development of depression; better social competence may protect from development of anxiety; and better social competence/structured style may be of importance for psychosocial functioning.
*Measured via the Resilience Scale for Adolescents (READ)
Schei J, Nøvik TS, Thomsen PH, et al. What predicts a good adolescent to adult transition in ADHD? The role of self-reported resilience. J Atten Disord 2015; [Epub ahead of print].