Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized as a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by developmentally inappropriate and impairing difficulties with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). ADHD is associated with long-term functional impairments, such as impaired physical and mental health and leads to considerable costs for families and society (Gjervan, Torgersen, Nordahl, & Rasmussen, 2012.) ADHD affects around 5%–10% of school-aged children worldwide (Hechtman, 2011). Low birth weight has been recognized as a risk factor that is associated with the development of ADHD (Nigg & Breslau, 2007). Recent etiological investigation has focused on associations between prenatal and perinatal risk as well as sibling differences in low birth weight status as a predictive measure of ADHD symptomology. This paper will examine the association of low birth rate and the development of ADHD.
Studies primarily focused on children (ages 6-19) and adolescence with ADHD. One longitudinal study chose to follow children of low birth weight into adulthood. Majority of individuals were preterm (gestational age < 2500 g), very low (<1000 g) birth weight (World Health Organization, 2004). Further, all studies included large study samples and included no less than 100 participants.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder; this means that it impairs the growth and development of the brain and has an early onset and persistent course (Mash &Wolfe, 2016). Researchers have hypothesized that a low birth weight that restricts fetal growth that may not provide sufficient energy supply for brain development. Lack of development t...
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...ling differences in low birth weight status to predict sibling differences in ADHD symptomatology. The study included participants from 80 high schools and 52 junior high schools. Participants were genotyped on a small number of genetic markers relevant to the prediction of ADHD symptomatology. Participants were also evaluated using the self-reported, childhood ADHD symptom scale that measures inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive characteristics of ADHD. Data on the birth weight of all participants was also collected. Researchers found that sibling differences in low birth weight predicted sibling differences in ADHD symptomology in childhood. Additionally, researchers found that sibling differences in individual dopaminergic genes did not significantly predicted sibling differences in ADHD symptomatology. They found “no evidence of direct genetic effects on ADHD”.
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