Childhood anxiety and depressive symptoms may be influenced by symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We investigated whether parent- and teacher-reported anxiety, depressive and ADHD symptoms at age 3 years predicted anxiety disorders and/or depression in children with and without ADHD at age 8 years. This study is part of the longitudinal, population-based Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study. Parents of 3-year-olds were interviewed, and preschool teachers rated symptoms of anxiety disorders, depression and ADHD. At age 8 years (n = 783), Child Symptom Inventory-4 was used to identify children who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders and/or depression (hereinafter: Anx/Dep), and ADHD. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used. In the univariable analyses, parent-reported anxiety, depressive and ADHD symptoms, and teacher-reported anxiety symptoms at age 3 years all significantly predicted subsequent Anx/Dep. In the multivariable analyses, including co-occurring symptoms at age 3 years and ADHD at 8 years, parent-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms remained significant predictors of subsequent Anx/Dep. At age 3 years, regardless of ADHD symptoms being present, asking parents about anxiety and depressive symptoms, and teachers about anxiety symptoms, may be important to identify children at risk for school-age anxiety disorders and/or depression.
The Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Ministry of Education and Research. The ADHD study is supported by funds and grants from the Norwegian Ministry of Health, the Norwegian Health Directorate, the South-Eastern Health Region, the G & PJ Sorenson Fund for Scientific Research, and the Norwegian Centre of Expertise for Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Hypersomnias.
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