Testing the evolutionary advantage theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits

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Testing the evolutionary advantage theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits. / Arildskov, Trine Wigh; Virring, Anne; Thomsen, Per Hove et al.

I: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Bind 31, Nr. 2, 02.2022, s. 337-348.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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Arildskov TW, Virring A, Thomsen PH, Østergaard SD. Testing the evolutionary advantage theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2022 feb.;31(2):337-348. doi: 10.1007/s00787-020-01692-4

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Arildskov, Trine Wigh ; Virring, Anne ; Thomsen, Per Hove et al. / Testing the evolutionary advantage theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits. I: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2022 ; Bind 31, Nr. 2. s. 337-348.

Bibtex

@article{4d21a4de14144f838b446fd411e085b2,
title = "Testing the evolutionary advantage theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits",
abstract = "To reconcile the strong secular persistence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) despite its impairing effects, ADHD traits have been postulated to offer an evolutionary advantage. It has been proposed that such advantages should in particular be observable under time-critical, novel, and resource-depleted conditions requiring response-readiness and high levels of scanning and exploration/foraging. Our objective was to provide the first behavioral test of this hypothesis. Schoolchildren from the general population with no/few (n = 56), mild (n = 50), moderate (n = 48), and severe (n = 48) ADHD traits, defined according to their ADHD-Rating Scale IV (ADHD-RS-IV) total score, participated in an exploratory foraging and response-readiness laboratory test. Here, children searched for coins hidden in locations of varying obscurity in an unfamiliar room for 1 min. Test-performance (number of coins found) adjusted for age, sex, and estimated IQ was analyzed categorically using multiple linear regression analyses and dimensionally by fitting a regression model including the ADHD-RS-IV score as a continuous measure. There were no differences in the mean number of coins between the No/Few (Mean = 7.82), Mild (Mean = 7.76), Moderate (Mean = 7.58), and Severe (Mean = 7.88) groups [F(3,195) = 0.24, p = 0.871]. Furthermore, excluding children with functional impairment, adjusting for verbal working memory and response inhibition, and stratifying for sex did not change these findings. Finally, continuous ADHD traits were not found to be related to test-performance [F(3,195) = 0.73, p = 0.536]. While our results do generally not support the evolutionary advantage theory (i.e., ADHD traits neither conferred an advantage nor a disadvantage), this does not disprove that ADHD traits may have offered advantages via other mechanisms.",
keywords = "ADHD, Adaptive advantages, Children, Dimensionality, Natural selection-based theories of ADHD, PARADOX, GENE, ADAPTATIONISM, BEHAVIOR, HYPERACTIVITY, SELECTION, CHILDREN, Central Nervous System Stimulants/therapeutic use, Humans, Phenotype, Child, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/diagnosis",
author = "Arildskov, {Trine Wigh} and Anne Virring and Thomsen, {Per Hove} and {\O}stergaard, {S{\o}ren D}",
year = "2022",
month = feb,
doi = "10.1007/s00787-020-01692-4",
language = "English",
volume = "31",
pages = "337--348",
journal = "European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry",
issn = "1018-8827",
publisher = "Springer Medizin",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Testing the evolutionary advantage theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits

AU - Arildskov, Trine Wigh

AU - Virring, Anne

AU - Thomsen, Per Hove

AU - Østergaard, Søren D

PY - 2022/2

Y1 - 2022/2

N2 - To reconcile the strong secular persistence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) despite its impairing effects, ADHD traits have been postulated to offer an evolutionary advantage. It has been proposed that such advantages should in particular be observable under time-critical, novel, and resource-depleted conditions requiring response-readiness and high levels of scanning and exploration/foraging. Our objective was to provide the first behavioral test of this hypothesis. Schoolchildren from the general population with no/few (n = 56), mild (n = 50), moderate (n = 48), and severe (n = 48) ADHD traits, defined according to their ADHD-Rating Scale IV (ADHD-RS-IV) total score, participated in an exploratory foraging and response-readiness laboratory test. Here, children searched for coins hidden in locations of varying obscurity in an unfamiliar room for 1 min. Test-performance (number of coins found) adjusted for age, sex, and estimated IQ was analyzed categorically using multiple linear regression analyses and dimensionally by fitting a regression model including the ADHD-RS-IV score as a continuous measure. There were no differences in the mean number of coins between the No/Few (Mean = 7.82), Mild (Mean = 7.76), Moderate (Mean = 7.58), and Severe (Mean = 7.88) groups [F(3,195) = 0.24, p = 0.871]. Furthermore, excluding children with functional impairment, adjusting for verbal working memory and response inhibition, and stratifying for sex did not change these findings. Finally, continuous ADHD traits were not found to be related to test-performance [F(3,195) = 0.73, p = 0.536]. While our results do generally not support the evolutionary advantage theory (i.e., ADHD traits neither conferred an advantage nor a disadvantage), this does not disprove that ADHD traits may have offered advantages via other mechanisms.

AB - To reconcile the strong secular persistence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) despite its impairing effects, ADHD traits have been postulated to offer an evolutionary advantage. It has been proposed that such advantages should in particular be observable under time-critical, novel, and resource-depleted conditions requiring response-readiness and high levels of scanning and exploration/foraging. Our objective was to provide the first behavioral test of this hypothesis. Schoolchildren from the general population with no/few (n = 56), mild (n = 50), moderate (n = 48), and severe (n = 48) ADHD traits, defined according to their ADHD-Rating Scale IV (ADHD-RS-IV) total score, participated in an exploratory foraging and response-readiness laboratory test. Here, children searched for coins hidden in locations of varying obscurity in an unfamiliar room for 1 min. Test-performance (number of coins found) adjusted for age, sex, and estimated IQ was analyzed categorically using multiple linear regression analyses and dimensionally by fitting a regression model including the ADHD-RS-IV score as a continuous measure. There were no differences in the mean number of coins between the No/Few (Mean = 7.82), Mild (Mean = 7.76), Moderate (Mean = 7.58), and Severe (Mean = 7.88) groups [F(3,195) = 0.24, p = 0.871]. Furthermore, excluding children with functional impairment, adjusting for verbal working memory and response inhibition, and stratifying for sex did not change these findings. Finally, continuous ADHD traits were not found to be related to test-performance [F(3,195) = 0.73, p = 0.536]. While our results do generally not support the evolutionary advantage theory (i.e., ADHD traits neither conferred an advantage nor a disadvantage), this does not disprove that ADHD traits may have offered advantages via other mechanisms.

KW - ADHD

KW - Adaptive advantages

KW - Children

KW - Dimensionality

KW - Natural selection-based theories of ADHD

KW - PARADOX

KW - GENE

KW - ADAPTATIONISM

KW - BEHAVIOR

KW - HYPERACTIVITY

KW - SELECTION

KW - CHILDREN

KW - Central Nervous System Stimulants/therapeutic use

KW - Humans

KW - Phenotype

KW - Child

KW - Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/diagnosis

U2 - 10.1007/s00787-020-01692-4

DO - 10.1007/s00787-020-01692-4

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 33392724

VL - 31

SP - 337

EP - 348

JO - European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

JF - European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

SN - 1018-8827

IS - 2

ER -