Study Finds Ethnic Differences in Labels for Kids with ADHD

Researchers found several disparities in the labels and special education status given to Black versus White children with ADHD.

Monday June 16th - 10:34am

Filed Under: Learning Disabilities

Dr. David S. Mandell, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, along with colleagues from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, studied the labels given to children with ADHD for special education purposes. Using education and mental health claims records from the year 2002, the researchers found that Black children diagnosed with ADHD were less likely than their White counterparts to receive special education services.

Among those receiving special education services, more Black children were labeled as having emotional disturbances (ED).

White children receiving behavioral health and rehabilitation services were more likely to be in special education and to be labeled ED, when compared to their White peers who were not receiving such services, but Black children in special education were just as likely to be labeled ED, regardless of the services they received.

The results of this study indicate that educational and mental health services are provided differently based on ethnicity. Dr Mantell and his colleagues concluded that there are several possible reasons for this difference. Some of the most likely causes include professionals' differential interpretation of behaviors associated with ADHD and their causes, and parents' knowledge of ADHD and their ability to advocate for their children.

They suggest that further research be done on more effective parent education, the use of medication across ethnicity, and the interaction of mental health and education professionals in getting children appropriate services.

Read the full article from the Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.

Copyright © 1998 - 2013 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 39 W. 37th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018