The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The impact of childhood deprivation on adult neuropsychological functioning is associated with ADHD symptom persistence

The impact of childhood deprivation on adult neuropsychological functioning is associated with ADHD symptom persistence
The impact of childhood deprivation on adult neuropsychological functioning is associated with ADHD symptom persistence
Background: Institutional deprivation in early childhood is associated with neuropsychological deficits in adolescence. Using 20-year follow-up data from a unique natural experiment – the large-scale adoption of children exposed to extreme deprivation in Romanian institutions in the 1980s –we examined, for the first time, whether such deficits are still present in adulthood and whether they are associated with deprivation- related symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: Adult neuropsychological functioning was assessed across five domains (inhibitory control, emotion recognition, decision-making, prospective memory and IQ) in 70 previously-institutionalized adoptees (mean age= 25.3, 50% female) and 22 non-deprived UK adoptees (comparison group, mean age= 24.6, 41% female). ADHD and ASD symptoms were assessed using parent-completed questionnaires. Results: Early institutionalization was associated with impaired performance on all tasks in adulthood. Prospective memory deficits persisted after controlling for IQ. ADHD and ASD symptoms were positively correlated. After controlling for ASD symptoms, ADHD symptoms remained associated with deficits in IQ, prospective memory, proactive inhibition, decision-making quality and emotion recognition. ASD symptoms were not independently associated with neuropsychological deficits when accounting for their overlap with ADHD symptoms. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the link between childhood deprivation and adult ADHD symptoms was statistically explained by deprivation-related differences in adult IQ and prospective memory. Conclusions: These results represent some of the most compelling evidence to date of the enduring power of early, time-limited childhood adversity to impair long-term neuropsychological functioning across the lifespan – effects that are linked specifically to deprivation-related adult ADHD symptoms.
institutional deprivation, childhood neglect, maltreatment, prospective memory, ADHD
0033-2917
Golm, Dennis
ae337f61-561e-4d44-9cf3-3e5611c7b484
Sarkar, Sagari
66e7e4d0-92d2-4900-8274-14f6459af3a6
Mackes, Nuria
0ade154d-e560-4675-a863-5e16e0ffcd54
Fairchild, Graeme F
f99bc911-978e-48c2-9754-c6460666a95f
Mehta, Mitul A.
656d4095-c3a0-4161-8cb7-0dafcaf1404e
Rutter, Michael
c58bfa2b-e6cf-4a67-9e76-9e20e7695aa4
Sonuga-Barke, Edmund
180c5d1b-8848-41e4-ba25-2b6461a05b5e
Golm, Dennis
ae337f61-561e-4d44-9cf3-3e5611c7b484
Sarkar, Sagari
66e7e4d0-92d2-4900-8274-14f6459af3a6
Mackes, Nuria
0ade154d-e560-4675-a863-5e16e0ffcd54
Fairchild, Graeme F
f99bc911-978e-48c2-9754-c6460666a95f
Mehta, Mitul A.
656d4095-c3a0-4161-8cb7-0dafcaf1404e
Rutter, Michael
c58bfa2b-e6cf-4a67-9e76-9e20e7695aa4
Sonuga-Barke, Edmund
180c5d1b-8848-41e4-ba25-2b6461a05b5e

Golm, Dennis, Sarkar, Sagari, Mackes, Nuria, Fairchild, Graeme F, Mehta, Mitul A., Rutter, Michael and Sonuga-Barke, Edmund (2020) The impact of childhood deprivation on adult neuropsychological functioning is associated with ADHD symptom persistence. Psychological Medicine. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Institutional deprivation in early childhood is associated with neuropsychological deficits in adolescence. Using 20-year follow-up data from a unique natural experiment – the large-scale adoption of children exposed to extreme deprivation in Romanian institutions in the 1980s –we examined, for the first time, whether such deficits are still present in adulthood and whether they are associated with deprivation- related symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: Adult neuropsychological functioning was assessed across five domains (inhibitory control, emotion recognition, decision-making, prospective memory and IQ) in 70 previously-institutionalized adoptees (mean age= 25.3, 50% female) and 22 non-deprived UK adoptees (comparison group, mean age= 24.6, 41% female). ADHD and ASD symptoms were assessed using parent-completed questionnaires. Results: Early institutionalization was associated with impaired performance on all tasks in adulthood. Prospective memory deficits persisted after controlling for IQ. ADHD and ASD symptoms were positively correlated. After controlling for ASD symptoms, ADHD symptoms remained associated with deficits in IQ, prospective memory, proactive inhibition, decision-making quality and emotion recognition. ASD symptoms were not independently associated with neuropsychological deficits when accounting for their overlap with ADHD symptoms. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the link between childhood deprivation and adult ADHD symptoms was statistically explained by deprivation-related differences in adult IQ and prospective memory. Conclusions: These results represent some of the most compelling evidence to date of the enduring power of early, time-limited childhood adversity to impair long-term neuropsychological functioning across the lifespan – effects that are linked specifically to deprivation-related adult ADHD symptoms.

Text
PSM-D-19-01143_R2 - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 16 October 2020.
Request a copy

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 April 2020
Keywords: institutional deprivation, childhood neglect, maltreatment, prospective memory, ADHD

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439605
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439605
ISSN: 0033-2917
PURE UUID: 127b0010-2a92-4654-85fd-05467ed22844
ORCID for Dennis Golm: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2950-7935
ORCID for Graeme F Fairchild: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7814-9938

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 21 May 2020 00:34

Export record

Contributors

Author: Dennis Golm ORCID iD
Author: Sagari Sarkar
Author: Nuria Mackes
Author: Graeme F Fairchild ORCID iD
Author: Mitul A. Mehta
Author: Michael Rutter
Author: Edmund Sonuga-Barke

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×