Minority children less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
June 25th, 2013
01:20 PM ET

Minority children less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Minority children are far less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study in this week's journal Pediatrics.

In fact, authors found that African-American children were 69% less likely to be diagnosed, while Hispanic children were 45% less likely to have an ADHD diagnosis.

More than 5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  In fact, it's the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in U.S. children.  A diagnosis can help kids get the proper treatment and medication they need, and early intervention can be key in helping a child learn.

The study authors surveyed more than 15,000 children nationwide and tracked them from kindergarten through eighth grade, checking in at kindergarten and first, third, fifth and eighth grades for a formal ADHD diagnosis.

"The strength is in the number. It's a solid study ... and reflects the whole country. " said Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland who was not involved in the study.

Previous studies have looked at disparities between African-American children and white children, but this is the first study to look at a larger array of minority groups, said lead study author Paul Morgan.

Disproportionate populations are an issue in special education, said Morgan, an education professor at Penn State.

"Typically, what's been reported is over-representation," he said. "The tendency is that more minorities are overplaced in special education. But when you control for a lot of background characteristics, so that the only thing that you measure, the few studies that do that for special education, (have) found that minorities are less likely to get services."

Even when Morgan and his colleagues accounted for factors such as socioeconomics, low birth weight, and mother's age, the disparity in ADHD diagnosis between minority and white children persisted.

"I think we can say the disparities occur," he said. But researchers don't know why - "that warrants other investigation."

But what this study can do, said Morgan, is alert clinicians and educators to take a closer look when evaluating minority children for ADHD.

"Starting off early is really important," he said. "It's important to diagnose early because the learning issues can compound, and snowball and spiral negatively as you get older."

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Alfred Illiano

    Thanks for your advice on this blog. One thing I would wish to say is that purchasing electronic devices items on the Internet is nothing new. Actually, in the past ten years alone, the marketplace for online electronics has grown significantly. Today, you could find practically any kind of electronic unit and product on the Internet, from cameras and camcorders to computer parts and gambling consoles.


    February 10, 2018 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Asbestos Watch Adelaide

    Many thanks for this info I has been hunting all Google to be able to locate it!


    February 20, 2018 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Asbestos Watch Melbourne Service Asbestos Testing

    Hi, i believe that i saw you visited my web site thus i got here to “go back the want”.I’m trying to in finding things to enhance my web site!I guess its good enough to use some of your ideas!!


    March 14, 2018 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.