Seasonal variations in the severity of ADHD symptoms in the Dutch general population

Suzan W. N. Vogel, Margreet L. ten Have, Denise Bijlenga, Ron de Graaf, Aartjan T. F. Beekman, J. J. Sandra Kooij

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Objective: This is the first study to examine self-reported seasonal differences in the severity of ADHD symptoms in adults from the general population. Method: Data were analyzed from N = 5,303 respondents participating in the second wave of the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study–2, a population-based study on mental health. ADHD symptoms were assessed using the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Screener. As indicators of the severity of ADHD symptoms, the total ADHD symptom score and inattention and hyperactivity subscale scores were examined. Results: Compared with participants who were assessed in autumn, total ADHD and inattention subscale scores were significantly higher among participants who were assessed in spring or summer; the hyperactivity subscale score was significantly higher in spring. Conclusion: We found seasonal variations in the severity of ADHD symptoms, which was highest in those assessed in spring and summer. Researchers should be aware of this in the diagnostic process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)924-930
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • ADHD symptom severity
  • population-based study
  • seasons

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