Are Minority Children Less Subject to ADHD Or Are They Just Not Being Diagnosed?

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According to UPI, researchers report that while a higher percentage of black children show the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder–or ADHD–than white kids, they are less likely to be diagnosed or treated for the disorder. The new study showed a similar trend when it came to Hispanic children: They were as likely as their white peers to exhibit the signs of ADHD, but less likely to be diagnosed or treated for it. Study author Dr. Tumaini Coker said “There are multiple places where we are missing out for diagnosis and treatment of African American and Latino children.” The prevalence of ADHD, which is characterized by inattention and impulsive behavior, has been soaring among school-aged children in recent years, from just under 8 percent in 2003 to 11 percent in 2011, according to the study. Kids and adults with ADHD often overlook or miss details, make careless mistakes in assignments and have trouble sustaining attention during play or at tasks, including conversations. They may also be easily distracted by other thoughts or stimuli. Coker noted there has been a long-running debate over whether the racial differences found in ADHD diagnosis and treatment were the result of underdiagnosis and undertreatment of black and Hispanic children or overdiagnosis and overtreatment of white children. The findings were published online Aug. 23rd in the journal Pediatrics.

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