Prevalence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms in Preschool-aged Iranian Children
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in Iranian preschool children based on evaluations by parents and teachers because a thorough understanding of epidemiologic features of ADHD symptoms in preschool children is important for prevention and management Methods: Children between the ages of three and six attending kindergarten participated in this study. For the survey, 37 kindergartens were selected by multistage (stratified cluster random) sampling, consisting of 2213 children with a design effect equal to 1.5. A 19-item observer-rating questionnaire was generated to assess ADHD symptoms in children within the last 6 months. This questionnaire was used by both teachers and parents to assess ADHD behavior in participating children. Findings: Of 1403 children aged 3-6 years, 362 were classified as having ADHD symptoms according to their parent evaluation [25.8% (23.6-28.1%)] and 239 according to their teachers evaluation [17% (14.1-20.4%)]. Child rank among siblings, mother's education level, and interest in aggressive television programs were all independent explanatory variables according to parents' evaluation. Gender, parent education, child rank, single parent and interest in aggressive television programs were all independent explanatory variables according to teachers' evaluation. Conclusion: Our findings reveal a large discrepancy in the prevalence of ADHD symptoms in preschool children based on evaluation by parents and teachers. Thus, it seems that the ADHD screening should be performed in multiple settings in order to identify children who need further investigations.