Baby fussiness linked to ADHD, behavioral problems

Fussy babies may be less likely to shake off their “fussiness” as they age, according to a study in the April 20th issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Excessive crying, sleeping or feeding difficulties could be markers of a propensity to develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or “externalizing problems” such as tantrums or aggressive behavior. According to the study, the higher instances of regulatory problems were, the more likely children were to present with the behavioral issues later on. The studies authors highlighted early intervention to address the issues in infants and children:

“Our findings highlight the need for prospective follow-up studies of regulatory disturbed infants and require reliable assessments of crying, sleeping or feeding problems… The evidence from this systematic review suggests that those with persisting regulatory problems in families with other problems may require early interventions to minimize or prevent the long-term consequences of infant regulatory problems.”

Between 1987 and 2006, the study measured more than 16,000 children, 1,935 of whom had regulatory problems.

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