Abstract Children whose mothers experienced childhood abuse are more likely to suffer various neurodevelopmental deficits. Whether an association exists specifically for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is unknown. We examined the association of maternal experience of childhood abuse with ADHD in offspring, assessed by maternal report of diagnosis and validated with the ADHD Rating Scale-IV in a subsample, in the Nurses’ Health Study II (n = 49,497 mothers, N offspring cases = 7,607, N offspring controls = 102,151). We examined whether ten adverse perinatal circumstances (e.g., prematurity, smoking) or socioeconomic factors accounted for a possible association. Exposure to abuse was associated with greater prevalence of ADHD in offspring (8.7% of offspring of women exposed to severe abuse vs. 5.5% of offspring of women not abused, P = 0.0001) and with greater risk for ADHD adjusted for demographic factors (male offspring, risk ratio (RR) = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.3, 1.9; female offspring, RR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.7, 3.0). Adjusted for perinatal factors, the association of maternal childhood abuse with ADHD in offspring was slightly attenuated (male offspring, RR = 1.5; 95% CI: 1.2, 1.8; female offspring, RR = 2.1, 95% CI: 1.6, 2.8). We identified an association between maternal experience of childhood abuse and risk for ADHD in offspring, which was not explained by several important perinatal risk factors or socioeconomic status. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, childhood abuse, longitudinal study, maternal factors, neurodevelopment, violence © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
American Journal of Epidemiology – Oxford University Press
Published: May 14, 2018
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