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Body Mass Indices of Girls with and without ADHD: Developmental Trajectories from Childhood to Adulthood (Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology)

Publication Topics

California Health Interview Survey; 2001 CA Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2001); 2003 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2003); 2005 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2005); 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2007); 2009 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2009); 2011 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2011); 2012 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2012); Adolescents/Children; Child Development; Mental and Emotional Health; Obesity/Overweight; Physical Activity

Publication Type

CHIS Journal Article

Publication Date


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<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('http:\u002f\\u002f_layouts\u002flistform.aspx?PageType=4\u0026ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}\u0026ID=1884\u0026RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href=";ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&amp;ID=1884&amp;RootFolder=*">Patricia A. Porter</a>

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Summary: Authors examine the predictive relation between childhood-diagnosed ADHD and trajectories of body mass index (BMI) from childhood to adulthood in an all-female sample, accounting for socioeconomic status (SES), childhood comorbidities (e.g., depression/anxiety), and stimulant usage. Childhood executive functioning (i.e., planning, sustained attention, and response inhibition) was also evaluated as a possible predictor of BMI trajectories.

Authors utilized longitudinal data from a full sample of 140 girls diagnosed with ADHD in childhood and 88 comparison girls matched on age and ethnicity. Girls were 6–12 years old at the first assessment and followed prospectively for 16 years. Data were collected on their BMI and stimulant medication usage across four evaluation waves. Using latent growth curve modeling, authors evaluated the BMI trajectories of girls with ADHD and the comparison sample from childhood to adulthood.

Findings: Although there was no significant difference in initial childhood BMI, girls with ADHD increased in BMI at a significantly faster rate than comparison girls across development, even when adjusting for covariates. Significant differences in BMI first emerged in adolescence; by adulthood, 40.2% of the ADHD sample met criteria for obesity versus 15.4% of the comparison sample. When covarying ADHD diagnosis, executive functioning measures were not significantly predictive of BMI increase. Adjusting for stimulant medication usage within the ADHD sample did not alter core findings.

Authors discuss health-related implications for girls with ADHD, potential underlying mechanisms, and how their findings may inform both ADHD and obesity interventions.

This study uses 20012012 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data. 


Article 1

Journal Article: Body Mass Indices of Girls with and without ADHD: Developmental Trajectories from Childhood to Adulthood

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Press Release

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Related Report: Obesity in California

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California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

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Created at 4/9/2021 12:30 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste
Last modified at 5/3/2021 3:43 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|venetia