The impact of ADHD on the health and well-being of ADHD children and their siblings

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry


Tessa Peasgood, Anupam Bhardwaj, Katie Biggs, John E. Brazier, David Coghill, Cindy L. Cooper, David Daley, Cyril Silva, Val Harpin, Paul Hodgkins, Amulya Nadkarni, Juliana Setyawan and Edmund J.S. Sonuga-Barke

Publication date


Childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been
associated with reduced health and well-being of patients and their
families. The authors undertook a large UK survey-based observational
study of the burden associated with childhood ADHD. The impact of ADHD
on both the patient (N = 476) and their siblings (N = 337)
on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and happiness was quantified
using multiple standard measures [e.g. child health utility-9D (CHU-9D),
EuroQol-5D-Youth]. In the analysis, careful statistical adjustments
were made to ensure a like-for-like comparison of ADHD families with two
different control groups. We controlled for carers’ ADHD symptoms,
their employment and relationship status and siblings’ ADHD symptoms.
ADHD was associated with a significant deficit in the patient’s HRQoL
(with a CHU-9D score of around 6 % lower). Children with ADHD also have
less sleep and were less happy with their family and their lives
overall. No consistent decrement to the HRQoL of the siblings was
identified across the models, except that related to their own conduct
problems. The siblings do, however, report lower happiness with life
overall and with their family, even when controlling for the siblings
own ADHD symptoms. We also find evidence of elevated bullying between
siblings in families with a child with ADHD. Overall, the current
results suggest that the reduction in quality of life caused by ADHD is
experienced both by the child with ADHD and their siblings.

Volume and page numbers

25, 1217-1231





Psychiatry, Child Development, Well Being, Health and Social Psychology


Open Access article; © The Author(s) 2016. This article is published with open access at