More American Children Seeking Treatment for ADHD

More than half of U.S. children with mental health disorders -- especially attention deficit disorder -- are receiving treatment, according to a new National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study.

Monday December 14th - 11:37am

More than half of U.S. children and adolescents with mental disorders -- especially those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- are receiving treatment from professionals, according to a new study from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). This confirms the trend that more children are seeking treatment for mental disorders, according to the NIMH.

The study, published online today in Pediatrics, was conducted to establish a baseline regarding the presence and treatment of mental health disorders in U.S. children. NIMH researchers used data from 3,042 youths, ages 8 to 15, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from the years 2001 to 2004.

The study tracked six mental illnesses -- ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia), depression, and conduct disorder -- in the youths and found:

-8.6 percent had ADHD
-3.7 percent had mood disorders
-2.1 had conduct disorder
-0.7 percent had panic disorder or GAD
-0.1 percent had anorexia or bulimia

Approximately 1.8 percent of the children had multiple disorders, usually ADD and a conduct disorder.

Boys were approximately two times more likely than girls to have attention deficit disorder. Meanwhile, mood disorders were about two times greater in girls than boys.

Children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to have mental disorders, particularly ADHD; children from higher socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to have an anxiety disorder.

Approximately 55 percent of the children with mental disorders -- especially ADHD -- sought treatment.

Read the abstract at Pediatrics and learn more about the study here.

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