Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADD or ADHD, has become much more common recently. As of 1994 the DSM-IV stated that about 3%-5% of American school aged children have this disorder. While it is quite a few children, what I find to be even more interesting are the male-to-female ratios within the disorder. They range from 4:1 to 9:1. According to Wade, Carol &Travis (2000), boys make up 80 to 90 percent of all ADHD cases. What I've looked into finding out is why there is such a gender difference. I wanted to know if it was because the way society raises girls, or are boys really at a higher risk for it. I am interested in this topic because a male cousin of mine recently was diagnosed with this disorder. You always hear about boys having this problem. This made me think about why there arenâ€TMt many girls that suffer from this. The one variable that I am most interested in for this study is how the label of having ADHD affects girls as opposed to boys. This topic is relevant to psychology because it is looking at the females social development and if it is impaired just because a label was put on her. Besides just socially, feeling that the child is different will lead to the parents, teachers, and other caregivers to treat the child differently, creating a different than normal development. To begin with, ADHD is a disorder in which there are persistent patterns of inattention and/ or impulsivity. It is a leading cause of school failure and under-achievement. Some of the characteristics include fidgeting with hands, difficulty remaining seated, not following through on instructions, shifting from one uncompleted task to another, interrupting conversations, a... ... middle of paper ... ...chiatry, 38, 40-48. Littman, E., (2000). ADHD under diagnosed in girls. Family Practice News, 30, 8. Gaub, M., Carlson, C. (1997). Gender differences in ADHD: A meta-analysis and critical review. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 1036-1046. Biederman, J., et al. (1999). Clinical correlates of ADHD in females: Findings from a large group of girls ascertained from pediatric and psychiatric referral sources. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 996-972. Greene, R., et al. (2001). Social impairment in girls with ADHD: Patterns, gender comparisons, and correlates. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 704-715. (2001). Girls with ADHD at greater risk for psychiatric problems. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 17, 6.
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