Disparities in ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment Suggest African American and Latino Children Are Under Diagnosed and Under Treated

Elk Grove Village, IL–(ENEWSPF)–August 25, 2016.  There has long been concern over the disparity between white and African-American and Latino children when it comes to diagnosis and medication use of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – with non-white children less likely to report ADHD medication use.

A study, “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment,” published in the September 2016 Pediatrics (published online Aug. 23), examined whether or not this disparity results from over-diagnosis or over-treatment of white children or from under-diagnosis or under-treatment of Latino and African-American peers.  By following a cohort of 4,297 children, researchers found that higher percentages of African-American children had symptoms suggesting ADHD compared to white children in the same age categories, while Latino children had the same likelihood of ADHD symptoms as white children. Despite this, white children were more likely to have received a diagnosis of ADHD; in the study group, 19 percent of white children in the 10th grade had an ADHD diagnosis, compared to 10 percent of African-American children and 4 percent of Latino children. Furthermore, white children were more likely to have a parent report of taking medication for ADHD.

The researchers concluded that their findings suggested that these disparities are more likely from under-diagnosis and under-treatment of African-American and Latino children, and not due to over-diagnosis or over-treatment of white children.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.

Source: http://aap.org




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