ADHD in Adulthood: Is it Mere Persistence? A Whorfian Dilemma.

Maryam Demian


The present review sought to examine the validity of an Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis in adults. Several problems were pointed out, beginning with the controversy surrounding an ADHD diagnosis in childhood. The main issue targeted was the disorder’s inconsistent manifestations across the child’s lifespan. These included the disappearance of hallmarks and inconsistent symptoms and epidemiology. Other problems rendering an adult-ADHD diagnosis problematic included ADHD’s poor specificity, high sensitivity, and the use of a retrospective diagnosis. The review suggests that ADHD’s apparent persistence could be the result of a childhood lived with the disorder, an ADHD comorbidity, or ADHD’s transformation into a non-ADHD disorder. As a result of the present discussion, it was concluded that adult-ADHD fulfills all requirements for validity, except for its being an independent disorder.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; ADHD; Adults; Persistence; Validity; Diagnostic criteria; Age of onset

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© University of Toronto Journal of Undergraduate Life Sciences.