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ADHD Risk May Be Higher Among Disadvantaged Kids

ADHD Risk May Be Higher Among Disadvantaged KidsA 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


Upset boy with parents in background photo by shutterstock.

ADHD Risk May Be Higher Among Disadvantaged Kids

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). ADHD Risk May Be Higher Among Disadvantaged Kids. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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