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Black Mothers More Likely to Give Boys Higher ADHD Rating

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 12:15pm

Black children, especially boys, often receive higher scores on common attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) measures than their white counterparts. Now, new findings published in the Journal of Attention Disorders reveal that Black mothers rate boys higher for the inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that define this brain disorder, which affects functioning and development, regardless of the child’s race, reports Lehigh University. For the study, Black and white mothers were recruited and randomly assigned to watch a brief video of either an African-American or Caucasian boy displaying behaviors associated with ADHD. This resulted in four groups: African-American mothers viewing an African-American boy; African-American mothers viewing a Caucasian boy; Caucasian mothers viewing an African-American boy; and Caucasian mothers viewing a Caucasian boy. “The primary takeaway is that common psychological assessment measures like parent behavior questionnaires are influenced by race; these assessments are not happening in a cultural vacuum,” said George DuPaul, Ph.D., a professor of school psychology at Lehigh University and the study’s coauthor.  (December 2018)