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African-American Mothers Rate Boys Higher for ADHD

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 5:45pm

African-American children often are reported by parents and teachers to display behaviors of ADHD at a higher rate than children from other racial and ethnic groups. For the first time, researchers have found that African-American mothers in a study rated boys as displaying more frequent ADHD symptoms than Caucasian mothers did, regardless of child race. The findings mean that racial differences found in prior studies may be more due to maternal race than child race, said Lehigh researcher George DuPaul.

The findings are reported in this month’s Journal of Attention Disorders, in a special issue on Parenting Youth with ADHD.

Put it into practice:

  • Multiple internal and external factors impact assessment of ADHD symptoms in youth
  • Practitioners should always use information from multiple sources in evaluating youth for possible ADHD
  • Practitioners should supplement behavior questionnaires with diagnostic interviews with parents  in evaluating youth from racial minority backgrounds for ADHD; this allows more detailed exploration of frequency, severity, and environmental context of ADHD symptomatic behaviors