ADHD News & Research

ADHD and Trauma May Go Hand in Hand

Doctors need to look beyond attention deficit to detect and treat trauma in kids with the condition.

May 14, 2014

New research indicates that children with ADHD may be more likely to be part of families affected by poverty, divorce, neighborhood violence, and substance abuse.

“Our findings suggest that children with ADHD experience significantly higher rates of trauma than those without ADHD,” says study author Dr. Nicole Brown, assistant professor of pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York.

“Providers may focus on ADHD as the primary diagnosis and overlook the possible presence of a trauma history, which may impact treatment,” says Brown.

The researchers analyzed the answers of parents of more than 65,000 children aged 6-17, who responded to a 2011 survey. About 12 percent of the kids had been diagnosed with ADHD, and their parents reported higher rates of various problems than the parents of kids without ADHD did.