Researchers report that a recent study indicates that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be over-diagnosed in certain countries including the United States.
Published recently in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, the study team assessed ADHD symptoms in four different countries.
ADHD Commonly Diagnosed
In the United States ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in children. With a worldwide prevalence of approximately 5%, it has significantly higher diagnosed rates in places such as the United States.
The team identified and analyzed data from the International Longitudinal Twins Study, which involved 974 pairs of twins from the United States, Australia, Norway, and Sweden, who were studied throughout childhood. This study included parental engagement—rating up to 18 ADHD symptoms in addition to an array of tests that measured many cognitive elements.
The Anglo-Saxon nations (America and Australia) are reporting more far higher ADHD rates than the Nordic countries even though children performed worst on the cognitive tests.
Beatriz MacDonald, assistant professor, University of New Mexico Health Services Center, and clinical neuropsychologist at the University of New Mexico Hospital
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