A new report from the UK suggests children from families of lower social and economic status have a higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A team from the University of Exeter Medical School reviewed a database of more than 19,500 UK children born between 2000 and 2002.
As reported in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, researchers discovered more children with ADHD came from families below the poverty line with average family incomes for households whose study child was affected by ADHD at $524 per week, compared to $633 for those whose child was not.
Investigators also determined the odds of parents in social housing having a child with ADHD was roughly three times greater than for those who owned their own homes.
The team also found that the odds of younger mothers having a child with ADHD were significantly higher than for other mothers.
Researchers discovered mothers who did not graduate from college were more than twice as likely to have a child with ADHD as those with degrees. Single parents were also more likely to have a child with ADHD diagnosis.
Information was gathered from surveys when the cohort children were nine months old, and at the ages of three, five, seven and 11.
Study leader Ginny Russell, Ph.D., said, “There is a genetic element to ADHD, but this study provides strong evidence that ADHD is also associated with a disadvantaged social and economic background.
“Some people believe that ADHD in children causes disadvantage to the economic situation of their family, but we found no evidence to support that theory. It’s important to discover more about the causes of this disorder so that we can look towards prevention, and so that we can target treatment and support effectively.”
Source: University of Exeter