Award winner of the Fonds Santé —
Postdoctoral student, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal
Published in: Molecular Psychiatry, 06-2012
“Existing studies on the link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance abuse and dependence do not provide a basis for conclusions on the specific role of ADHD symptoms. In fact, very few studies distinguish between the symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity or control for associated externalized symptoms such as opposition. The aim of my longitudinal study of kindergarten children in Québec was to demonstrate the specific link between the symptoms of attention deficit in childhood and nicotine dependence in adulthood.”
Though parents, teachers and clinicians are able to easily detect hyperactivity in children, Jean-Baptiste Pingault highlights the need to take better notice of associated symptoms such as attention deficit and opposition, which may be present in certain cases. The researcher suggests a link between these symptoms and substance abuse and dependence in adulthood and confirms that intervention in childhood can impact health and social inclusion in the long term. In addition, the study outlines a new generation of interventions that combine broad actions and interventions based on a child’s specific symptoms. Jean-Baptiste Pingault’s work therefore contributes to enhancing ADHD intervention and prevention policies.