(HealthDay News) – Children of parents reporting intimate partner violence (IPV) and depressive symptoms within the first three years of a child’s life are significantly more likely to have a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Nerissa S. Bauer, MD, MPH, from Indiana University in Indianapolis, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,422 children participating in a prospective cohort study that linked parental IPV and depression with subsequent billing and pharmacy data from Nov. 1, 2004–June 7, 2012.

The researchers found that, before children were aged 3 years, 2.4%, 2.8%, and 29.1%, respectively, of caregivers reported IPV and depressive symptoms, IPV only, and depressive symptoms only, while 65.7% reported neither exposure. There was a significantly increased likelihood of a child having a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adjusted odds ratio, 4.0) if their parents reported both IPV and depressive symptoms, even after adjustment for the child’s sex, race/ethnicity, and insurance type. There was an increased likelihood for a child to have been prescribed psychotropic medication if their parents reported depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio, 1.9).

“Exposure to both IPV and depression before age 3 years is associated with preschool-aged onset of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; early exposure to parental depression is associated with being prescribed psychotropic medication,” the authors write.

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