Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects attention span and concentration and can also affect how impulsive and active the person is.
Most young people are, at times, inattentive, distractible, impulsive or highly active. ADHD is a concern when these behaviors occur more frequently and have a negative impact on a person’s ability to function in daily life.
Individuals with ADHD often have other co-occurring disorders, including a Learning Disability (LD), Conduct Disorder (CD) or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), depression, anxiety, and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
- ADHD impacts between 7% and 13% of the population.
- ADHD is just as common in girls as boys.
- ADHD symptoms look different in boys and girls (Rucklidge, 2010).
- Behavioral treatments, parent skills training programs, and medications can reduce the interference of ADHD symptoms in daily functioning.
Factors that Influence ADHD
Available scientific evidence suggests that ADHD is primarily influenced by genetics. Children born into families where there is a history of ADHD are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children where there is no family history of ADHD.
Research demonstrates that boys with ADHD usually show externalized symptoms, such as high physical activity and impulsivity. Girls with ADHD typically show internalized symptoms such as inattentiveness and low self-esteem. Boys also tend to be more physically aggressive, whereas girls tend to be more verbally aggressive.
Assessment and Management
Medication is the most effective form of treatment for approximately 80% of people diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD medications include stimulant medication and nonstimulant medication.
Behavioral interventions can help build self-esteem, reduce negative thoughts and improve problem-solving skills. Behavioral interventions can also help with organization and improve their social skills.
Family involvement is important for successful intervention. Parents can benefit from parent training programs that teach skills to manage their children’s disruptive behaviors. When ADHD is identified and treated appropriately individuals can lead productive and successful lives.
If you are concerned about your own or your child’s mental health Edgar Psychological can help with individual therapy and parent coaching.
Psychologists that Specialize in ADHD
Vivian Houg has extensive experience providing treatment for ADHD in children and adolescents.