ADHD Often Is Overlooked in Girls

Published Online: Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Although boys have a higher prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), girls have been underdiag-nosed and their condition is greatly underappreciated, according to findings published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (October 2002).

The study involved 140 girls diagnosed with ADHD and 88 girls without this condition who attended 6-week summer camps.

The girls participated in normal camp activities but were monitored by researchers trained in micro-observation. The girls with ADHD were less likely to follow directions or to become engaged in activities and were more likely to tease their peers, show aggressive behavior, and display social isolation/wandering. Furthermore, brain imaging studies showed that the girls with ADHD had similar levels of executive function deficit as do boys with the condition.

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