Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is a new disorder for DSM-5 that is uncommon and frequently co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders. Here, the authors test whether meeting diagnostic criteria for this disorder in childhood predicts adult diagnostic and functional outcomes.
In a prospective, population-based study, individuals were assessed with structured interviews up to six times in childhood and adolescence (ages 10 to 16 years; 5,336 observations of 1,420 youths) for symptoms of DMDD and three times in young adulthood (ages 19, 21, and 24–26 years; 3,215 observations of 1,273 young adults) for psychiatric and functional outcomes (health, risky/illegal behavior, financial/educational functioning, and social functioning).
Young adults with a history of childhood DMDD had elevated rates of anxiety and depression and were more likely to meet criteria for more than one adult disorder relative to comparison subjects with no history of childhood psychiatric disorders (noncases) or individuals meeting criteria for psychiatric disorders other than DMDD in childhood or adolescence (psychiatric comparison subjects). Participants with a history of DMDD were more likely to have adverse health outcomes, be impoverished, have reported police contact, and have low educational attainment as adults compared with either psychiatric or noncase comparison subjects.
The long-term prognosis of children with DMDD is one of pervasive impaired functioning that in many cases is worse than that of other childhood psychiatric disorders.