The impact of childhood ADHD on dropping out of high school in urban adolescents/young adults

Joey W. Trampush, Carlin J. Miller, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, Jeffrey M. Halperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine cognitive and psychosocial factors associated with high school dropout in urban adolescents with and without childhood ADHD. Method: In a longitudinal study, 49 adolescents/young adults with childhood ADHD and 44 controls who either dropped out or graduated from high school are included. Risk factors examined as potential correlates of dropout were intelligence, reading skills, socioeconomic status, marijuana use, and paternal contact. Results: Lower IQ, reading ability, socioeconomic status, frequent marijuana use, and limited paternal contact significantly differentiated dropouts from graduates, irrespective of childhood ADHD. Follow-up analyses determined that IQ, marijuana use, and paternal contact independently contribute to the likelihood of dropout. Conclusion: Selected cognitive and psychosocial factors appear independently associated with the likelihood of high school dropout irrespective of ADHD. Notably, childhood ADHD did not increase this risk, suggesting that previous reports of increased dropout because of ADHD may become negated in urban areas when matched with similar community controls. (J. of Att. Dis. 2009; 13(2) 127-136).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • ADHD
  • Academic achievement
  • Cognitive and psychosocial risk factors
  • High school dropout
  • Urban youth


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