New research indicates that ADHD rates across the country have risen significantly among children, over the past few years. In 2011, approximately 12 percent of children in the United States were diagnosed with ADHD; which is 43 percent higher than the same diagnosis in 2003.
In a new report, which has been published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers suggest that roughly 5.8 million U.S. children between the ages of 5 and 17 have now been diagnosed with ADHD, a disorder characterized by the hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inability to focus or pay attention.
“The driving force behind this study was that we wanted update the data to have the most recent information on trends ADHD and up until this point there has been very little research on racial and ethnic disparities in ADHD,” explains Sean D. Cleary, PhD, MPH, who is an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Furthermore, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital head of the Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health, Michael Manos, PhD, comments, “ADHD is 3-to-1 boys to girls in childhood.”
Manos, who was actually not involved with this study, goes on to say, “When you consider what makes little boys stand out, it’s hyperactivity and impulsive behavior, which is easy to recognize. But it’s inattention that tends to be higher in little girls. A child in preschool or kindergarten or even up until fifth grade who’s very bright can pay attention for 15 minutes out of the hour and still get what they need to do well in school. So the tendency was to recognize the disruptive behavior more typical in boys over the inattention in little girls. So what’s good about these numbers is that now inattention is also being recognized.”