Early Attachment Deprivation Predicts ADHD Symptoms


A study in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology finds that in a sample of 641 adopted adolescents, an increase in the level of ADHD symptoms was predicted by the duration of exposure to early attachment deprivation.

Abstract →

Roskam, I., Stievenart, M., Tessier, R., Muntean, A., et al; Another way of thinking about ADHD: the predictive role of early attachment deprivation in adolescents’ level of symptoms. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. January 2014, 49(1) 133-144

Previous article“Statistical Terms Used in Research Studies; a Primer for Journalists”
Next article“Integrated Models in Psychiatry: the State of the Art”
Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. I wonder if this helps to explain the prevalence of ADHD in preemies. My oldest was 27 weeks and is in this category. By nature of the NICU (even the “good” one he was lucky enough to stay in), bonding becomes extremely difficult although the preemies need it even more than “normal” babies.

    I have thought that it would be ideal to have several small saunas that the mothers and babies could spend skin-to-skin time in. The temp could be set to be the same as the incubators. Mothers would be able to spend much more time in that environment than preemies can spend out of the incubator.

    Report comment