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Kids With ADHD May Also Have Family Troubles

Study found they were more likely to come from homes affected by poverty, divorce, substance abuse

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Randy Dotinga

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New research indicates that children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may be more likely to be part of families that are 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," study author Dr. Nicole Brown said in a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Providers may focus on ADHD as the primary diagnosis and overlook the possible presence of a trauma history, which may impact treatment."

The researchers analyzed the answers of parents of 65,680 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.

"Knowledge about the prevalence and types of adverse experiences among children diagnosed with ADHD may guide efforts to address trauma in this population and improve ADHD screening, diagnostic accuracy and management," said Brown, an assistant professor of pediatrics at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City.

The findings are to be presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Vancouver, Canada. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

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