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Study Reveals Trends in ADHD Diagnoses That Challenge the Norm

Study Reveals Trends in ADHD Diagnoses That Challenge the Norm

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has found several trends in the diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder from 2003-2011 that challenge what is typically thought to be true of the condition.

For one, the study found that diagnoses for girls is on the rise, leading researchers to believe there is greater awareness of the condition.

The study, according to The Washington Post, shows a surprising 55 percent increase in prevalence of diagnoses among girls — from 4.7 percent to 7.3 percent from 2003 to 2011."

This increase in diagnoses of girls, the Post said, challenges the oft-held belief that the condition is more prevalent in boys.

"ADHD is generally thought to be more difficult to diagnose in girls than boys because the condition manifests itself differently. A boy with ADHD may show more symptoms that are ‘external,' clinicians suggest. So a boy may yell or shout in certain situations whereas a girl may resort more to teasing or name-calling,” the Post said.

Researchers behind the study believe that the rise can be partly attributed to greater awareness of the condition’s symptoms in both genders.

In addition to comparing ADHD diagnoses across genders, the study also took a look at diagnoses across race and ethnicity. Whereas it was previously thought that white boys were most likely to be diagnosed, the study found a rise in all races and ethnicities.

“…the researchers found an increase in cases across all races and ethnicities but especially in Hispanic children. In all children, the prevalence increased from 8.4 percent to 12 percent,” the Post said.

And while it was previously thought that most children are diagnosed with ADHD in their elementary years, the study found that in 2011, children ages 15-17 " reported the highest ADHD prevalence.”

Read the full story.


Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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