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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD in girls and boys

02/28/2010

Question:

Hi I Am a student at Mc 2 STEM High School and I am doing a research paper so i will need a little information about you when you answer my question.So my question is why is it that ADHD is more likely to appear in boys than girls?

Answer:

You may want to do a literature search on Hinshaw, who has followed one of the largest samples of girls and has written on the differences. Also Biederman X girls.

There is some controversy whether it's really that much different a rate between males and females. Adult samples are close to 1:1, not more than 2:1. Girls tend to be less hyperactive, which is the symptom that brings most boys to clinical attention and diagnosis, but more often have inattentive type ADHD without hyperactivity. So girls tend to be underdiagnosed. On the other hand, because boys tend to be more physically aggressive whether or not they have ADHD, and because adult observers tend to notice and even exaggerate hyperactivity more in aggressive kids, boys get diagnosed, maybe sometimes overdiagnosed.

I'm a board-certified child & adolescent psychiatrist with 40 years experience with ADHD research.

For more information:

Go to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder health topic, where you can:

Response by:

L Eugene Arnold, MD, MEd L Eugene Arnold, MD, MEd
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University