Hyperactivity-inattention symptoms in childhood and substance use in adolescence: The youth gazel cohort

Cédric Galéra, Manuel Pierre Bouvard, Antoine Messiah, Eric Fombonne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: This study addresses in both genders the relationship between childhood Hyperactivity-inattention symptoms and subsequent adolescent substance use, while controlling for psychiatric comorbidity, temperament and environmental risk factors. Methods: 916 subjects (421 males, 495 females) aged 7-18 were recruited from the general population and surveyed in 1991 and 1999. Child psychopathology and substance use patterns were evaluated through parent and adolescent self-reports. Multivariate modeling was performed to assess the effects of childhood Hyperactivity-inattention symptoms and other risk factors on adolescent substance use. Results: In males, Hyperactivity-inattention symptoms alone accounted for the risk of subsequent regular cannabis smoking (OR = 3.14, p = 0.03) and subsequent lifetime use of other drugs including stimulants, opiates, inhalants and sedatives (OR = 2.72, p = 0.02). In females, Hyperactivity-inattention symptoms did not independently increase the liability to later substance use. In males, the temperament trait activity was a significant predictor of subsequent regular cannabis smoking (OR = 2.32, p = 0.04). Conclusions: This survey points to a possible specific link between Hyperactivity-inattention symptoms and subsequent cannabis use and experimentation of harder drugs in males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Childhood
  • Longitudinal cohort
  • Substance use
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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