Kids with ADHD More Likely to Bully and Be Bullied

A new study finds that kids with ADHD symptoms are more likely to bully others, and are more likely to have been bullied before their symptoms arose.

Wednesday January 30th - 10:00am

Researchers in Stockholm, who followed a cohort of school children for one year, have found that children with ADHD are almost four times more likely to be bullies than their peers without the disorder. They have also found that kids who demonstrate ADHD symptoms are approximately 10 times as likely to be the targets of bullies before their symptoms came about.

The study, published in the Journal of Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, assessed children for ADHD by interviewing parents, teachers, and the children themselves, and then sending those children who showed symptoms to a neurologist. Bullying was measured through the child interviews.

This research highlights the need to observe the peer interactions of children exhibiting ADHD symptoms. The study suggests that symptoms could be the result of the stress of being targeted, but, on the other hand, if a child with ADHD is bullying others, it may be a sign of other issues, like depression.

The results also have implications for advocating treatment beyond medication, and for helping schools and parents identify likely bullies and targets.

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