Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Fact or Artifact?

Daniel A. Geller, Joseph Biederman, Stephen V. Faraone, Kathleen Cradock, Lisa Hagermoser, Noreen Zaman, Jean A. Frazier, Barbara J. Coffey, Thomas J. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Objective: To clarify whether the symptoms of inattention and distractibility commonly seen in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) represent true comorbidity with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a manifestation of obsessional anxiety. Method: Phenotypic features and functional correlates of ADHD-like symptoms were examined in youths with and without OCD from a large sample of pediatric psychiatry patients consecutively referred since 1997. Results: The number, frequency, and types of core ADHD symptoms as well as ADHD-associated functional indices were identical in all youths with DSM-IV-diagnosed ADHD irrespective of the presence or absence of comorbid OCD. Conclusion: These findings suggest that when ADHD-like symptoms are seen in youths with OCD, they reflect a true comorbid state of OCD plus ADHD and that the ADHD syndrome may be independent of OCD in comorbid youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Comorbidity
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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