AD/HD Affects Boys and Girls Equally

According to a recent study, girls with AD/HD are just as likely as boys to exhibit disruptive behavior and to suffer from a learning disability.

Monday August 1st - 2:00pm

Have physicians been under-diagnosing AD/HD in girls? That's the startling implication of a study published in the June 2005 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study - led by Harvard psychiatrist Joseph Biederman, M.D. - found that girls with AD/HD are just as likely as boys with AD/HD to exhibit disruptive behavior and to suffer from a learning disability (LD). The study also found that girls showed "similar levels of cognitive, psychosocial, school, and family functioning" as did boys.

Previous research had suggested that the prevalence of disruptive behavior and LD in children breaks along gender lines, with boys more likely than girls to be affected. Consequently, the study suggests, doctors may have been more likely to diagnose with AD/HD a boy who exhibits disruptive behavior or LD than a girl who exhibits the same problems.

An abstract of the study is available at ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/162/6/1083.

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