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Individual change in methylphenidate use in a national sample of children aged 2 to 11 years

By Elisa Romano, Raymond H. Baillargeon, Isabel Fortier, Hong-Xing Wu, Philippe Robaey, Mark Zoccolillo and Richard E. Tremblay


Objectives: To determine methylphenidate use in children aged 2 to 13 years. To provide age- and sex-specific estimates of methylphenidate initiation and cessation during a 2-year period. // Method: Data from 2 cycles of a Canadian household survey yielded a sample of over 10 000 children aged 2 to 11 years at Cycle 1 who continued to participate at Cycle 2. We used logit modelling to estimate Cycle 2 methylphenidate use, methylphenidate use over a 2-year period, and methylphenidate initiation and cessation from Cycles 1 to 2. // Results: In 1996 and 1997, methylphenidate use ranged from 0.32% to 6.31% among children aged 4 to 13 years. School-aged boys were more likely than girls to use methylphenidate. Odds were greater for boys aged 6 to 7 years than for boys aged 4 to 5 years; they were also greater for boys aged 10 to 11 years than for boys aged 12 to 13 years. Almost 1% of children used methylphenidate at both data cycles. Odds of Cycle 2 methylphenidate use were 135 times greater for children using methylphenidate at Cycle 1, compared with nonusers. Methylphenidate initiation ranged from 0.20% to 3.34%, and school-aged boys had higher initiation rates than girls. Cessation rates ranged from 18% to78%, and there were no statistically significant differences by age and sex. // Conclusions: Methylphenidate prevalence findings are consistent with past studies. We found an age-by-sex interaction on methylphenidate use. We also found both continuity and discontinuity in methylphenidate use.The study was conducted at the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth Research Centre in Children’s Behaviour Development, University of Montreal. The study was funded by the Applied Research Branch of Human Resources Development Canada (contract 9137-99-0080)

Topics: cessation, initiation, prevalence, sex effects, age effects, general population sample, stimulant use, methylphenidate
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1177/070674370505000303
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Recherche uO Research
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