ADHD and gender: are risks and sequela of ADHD the same for boys and girls?

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Research comparing treatment-referred boys and girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has yielded equivocal results. Contradictory findings may be associated with differential referral practices or unexplored interactions of gender with ADHD subtypes. Method: 

We examined possible gender differences in ADHD and its subtypes among children aged 4 to 17 in a representative community sample (N = 1896) in Puerto Rico. Caretakers provided information through the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (version IV) and a battery of impairment, family relations, child problems, comorbidity and treatment measures. Results: 

ADHD was 2.3 times more common in boys than girls, but with one exception there was little evidence that the patterns of associations of ADHD with correlates were different for boys and girls. The exception was school suspension, which was more common among ADHD boys than girls. Additional gender interactions were found when ADHD subtypes were considered. Among those with combined type (n = 50), boys were more likely to be comorbid with mood disorders than girls. For those with the inattentive type (n = 47), girls were more likely to be comorbid with anxiety disorders than boys. Conclusions: 

Our findings lend cross-cultural generalizability to recent reports that gender does not interact with correlates for ADHD overall, but that it may play a role in subtypes.

Keywords: ADHD subtypes; Attention deficit/hyperactivity impulsivity disorder; Latino/Hispanics; gender differences

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Behavioral Sciences Research Institute, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico 2: Department of Psychology, New York University, USA 3: Carlos Albizu University, Puerto Rico

Publication date: August 1, 2007



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