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October 1985

Hyperactive Children Have Grown UpWhat Have We Learned About What Happens to Them?

Author Affiliations

From the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(10):1026-1028. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790330110013

Hyperactive" children have been with us for a number of years. The problems they present with have gone by labels such as the hyperkinetic reaction, the hyperactive child syndrome, minimal brain dysfunction, and, more recently, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADDH). Since the seminal studies of Bradley in the late 1930s, a voluminous literature on this syndrome has developed, and many of the children who participated in early investigations have grown up and their cases have been reinvestigated. What have these follow-up studies taught us?

THEORETIC FORMULATIONS  One of the earliest theories about outcome of this syndrome was that it was a maturational or developmental lag in which children were on the right track but just moving at a slower pace. Implicit in this viewpoint was that the syndrome would eventually disappear by adolescence.A second theory postulated that the core symptoms would persist in a significant number of individuals

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