The impact of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder on preadolescent adjustment may be greater for girls than for boys

Irene J. Elkins, Steve Malone, Margaret Keyes, William G. Iacono, Matt Mcgue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Whether gender differences exist in the impairment associated with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is still largely unknown, because most samples have few affected girls or include only one sex. The current study evaluated whether ADHD affects adjustment differently for girls than boys in a population-based cohort of 11-year-olds (520 girls, 478 boys). Those with a DSM-IV diagnosis of ADHD (predominantly inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, or combined) were compared to those without ADHD on teacher, parent, and child reports of academics, peer relationships, self-concept, clinical symptoms, and treatment. Although boys and girls with ADHD experienced difficulties in all areas, girls with ADHD, especially the inattentive subtype, were more negatively affected in academics and peer relationships. Inattentive girls were less popular and more likely to be bullied than girls without ADHD, whereas inattentive boys were not. The social isolation experienced by many girls with ADHD deserves greater attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-545
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Health (DA 13240 and AA09367).

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