Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is still a neglected disorder in older adults. The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence and symptomatology of ADHD and associated psychopathology in adults aged 40-80 years in a German community sample. We examined 539 participants in two age groups: (1) 40-59 years old (n = 256) and (2) 60-80 years old (n = 283). To assess ADHD in both childhood and adulthood as well as current psychopathological impairments, we used self-report instruments and corresponding observer reports. We examined group differences between age groups and between ADHD and non-ADHD groups. The prevalence of ADHD in the total sample was 2.6% with no significant differences between the two age groups (40-59 years: 3.1% vs. 60-80 years: 2.1%). Although differences emerged in impulsivity/emotional lability and self-concept problems, overall ADHD symptom ratings did not differ between the age groups. The ADHD group showed more psychopathological peculiarities compared to individuals without ADHD with medium-to-large effect sizes. Self-reports and observer reports showed good concordance in the assessment of ADHD and comorbid psychopathological symptoms. Regarding current ADHD symptomatology, in 92.1%, self-report was corroborated by observer’s information. Our findings underline that ADHD symptoms are relevant across the lifespan. Augmenting self-reports with observer reports could increase the assessment quality of ADHD. For successful treatment, clinicians should also focus on additional psychopathological impairments and comorbidities in older adults with ADHD.© 2023. The Author(s).
About The Expert