Childhood ADHD and Conduct Disorder as Independent Predictors of Male Alcohol Dependence at Age 40
A recent Danish Study on Alcoholism studied males for a period of forty years examining the antecedent predictors of adult male alcoholism. This study revealed the correlation of premorbid behaviors consistent with childhood conduct disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). At 30-year and 40-year follow-ups, a psychiatrist used structured interviews and criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised, to quantify lifetime alcoholism severity and to diagnose alcohol-use disorder.
Subjects who were above a median split on both the ADHD and the conduct disorder scales were more than six times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than subjects who scored below the median on both. Although the two childhood measures were correlated, a multiple regression showed that each independently predicted a measure of lifetime alcoholism severity. ADHD comorbid with conduct disorder was the strongest predictor of later alcohol dependence.