Journal of Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treatment ISSN: 2324-8947

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Attachment Features in Adults with ADHD

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Attachment Features in Adults with ADHD

Background: To assess the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to explore possible associations of early adverse experiences and ADHD symptoms in childhood with posttraumatic stress and attachment dysfunction in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Methods: Prevalence of current and lifetime PTSD, adverse experiences (dysfunctional parenting and traumatization) and ADHD symptoms in childhood, and posttraumatic stress features, attachment styles, and ADHD symptoms in adulthood were investigated in 73 outpatients with ADHD–combined type. Linear regressions were performed to assess associations between adverse experiences and ADHD symptoms in childhood, and negative outcome concerning posttraumatic stress and attachment in adulthood.
Results: PTSD comorbidity was high (26% lifetime PTSD prevalence, 8.2% current disorder). Regression analyses revealed that ADHD symptoms and adverse experiences in childhood might have independent impact on current posttraumatic stress, and in part, on attachment problems.
Conclusions: The present findings may encourage the perspective on the relations between adverse experiences and ADHD symptoms in childhood on the one hand, and posttraumatic and attachment stress in later life of adults with ADHD. Since posttraumatic stress (disorder) is a common condition in clinical samples with ADHD, we recommend being aware of a possible comorbidity of the two disorders in clinical settings.

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