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Changes in the definition of ADHD in DSM-5: subtle but important

Author(s): Jeffery N Epstein, Richard EA Loren

While there were earlier descriptions of children with high levels of activity and impulsivity , what is now called ADHD first appeared in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM‑II in 1968. In DSM‑II, the disorder was termed hyperkinetic reaction of childhood, which as the name implies focused primarily on symptoms of excessive motor activity. With the publication of DSM‑III in 1980, the disorder was markedly reconceptualized with a focus on problems with attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, and was renamed attention deficit disorder (with and without hyperactivity).


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