Startling New Study Released: Girls with ADHD are Often Overlooked

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

ADHD Expert Pediatrician Addresses the Differences in the Way ADHD Affects Boys and Girls and Provides Key Information for Parents

NEW YORK, Sept. 4 (PRNewswire) ADHD has typically been thought of as a “boys’ problem” with hyperactivity often being the disorder’s most recognizable trait. However, researchers think that many girls go undiagnosed; studies show that as many as 75% of girls with ADHD may be missed. The reason? Girls with ADHD often demonstrate different, less noticeable symptoms. Since most of the ADHD research conducted to date has been on boys, either in the lab or in mental health treatment programs , there is much to be learned about how the disorder may affect boys and girls differently.

Today, the results of the first national survey to explore gender differences in ADHD are being released. This survey of children with ADHD, their parents, teachers and the general public examines perceptions about gender differences in ADHD and the different ways boys and girls with ADHD suffer. A sample of some of the surprising results:

85% of teachers thought girls are more likely to go undiagnosed; and almost all of them (92%) said it is because girls with ADHD don’t “act out.”

Results suggest that girls with ADHD may be more likely to be misdiagnosed with depression: girls survey were approximately three times more likely to be treated for depression than boys with ADHD.

Among teachers grade 8 and above, more teachers said that they have observed promiscuous behavior among girls with ADHD (44%) than among boys with ADHD (28%).

More than half (53%) of girls said they felt better about themselves after the diagnosis, having identified what was “wrong,” compared with only 36% of boys

INTERVIEWS: Patricia Quinn, MD, is a developmental pediatrician in the Washington, D.C. area. A graduate of the Georgetown University Medical School, she specializes in child development and psychopharmacology. Britney Joyal, 15 yr. old with ADHD & her mother, Emily Joyal Jeanne Connery, Mother with ADHD (diagnosed as an adult) &, Alison Connery, 6 yr daughter old with ADHD.