Children with ADHD Have a Greater Lifetime History of Concussion: Results from the ABCD Study

Nathan E. Cook, Justin E. Karr, Grant L. Iverson

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13 Scopus citations


This case-control study using baseline data from the population cohort Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study® compared lifetime history of concussion between children with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We hypothesized that children with ADHD would have a greater lifetime history of concussion than children without ADHD. Children were recruited from schools across the United States, sampled to provide strong generalizability to the US population. The current sample included 10,585 children (age: mean = 9.9; standard deviation = 0.6; range 9-10 years; 48.9% girls; 64.6% White), including 1085 with ADHD and 9500 without ADHD. The prevalence of prior concussion among children with ADHD was 7.2% (95% CI: 6.6-7.8%) compared with 3.2% (3.1-3.3%) among children without ADHD, meaning current ADHD status was associated with twice the odds of experiencing a prior concussion [χ2 = 44.54; p < 0.001; odds ratio = 2.34 (1.81-3.03)]. No significant differences were observed in proportion of boys and girls with ADHD who had a prior concussion history. The number of current ADHD symptoms were not meaningfully associated with prior concussion history. Lower socioeconomic status was associated with lower rates of reported concussion, but not differentially in association with ADHD. ADHD is associated with twice the lifetime prevalence of prior concussion before age 11 among children from the general U.S. population. Boys and girls with ADHD did not differ in proportions with prior concussion and concussion history was not related to the number of ADHD symptoms reported by parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Nathan Cook acknowledges support from the Louis V. Gerstner III Research Scholar Award from Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Grant Iverson acknowledges unrestricted philanthropic support from the Mooney-Reed Charitable Foundation, Heinz Family Foundation, Boston Bolts, ImPACT® Applications, Inc., National Rugby League, and the Spaulding Research Institute.

Funding Information:
Dr. Iverson has a clinical practice in forensic neuropsychology, including expert testimony, involving individuals who have sustained mild TBIs. He has received research support from the Harvard Integrated Program to Protect and Improve the Health of NFLPA Members, and a grant from the National Football League. He serves as a scientific advisor for BioDirection, Inc, Sway Medical, Inc., and Highmark, Inc. For the other authors, no competing financial interests exist.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2022, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2022.


  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • children
  • mild traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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