In a study in the July 2013 issue of Pediatrics, minority children were less likely than otherwise identical white children to be diagnosed with ADHD.
The odds were 46 percent lower for children of other ethnicities, 50 percent lower for Hispanic children, and 69 percent lower for black children. Among children diagnosed with ADHD, medication use was lower for all minority children.
The study, “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in ADHD Diagnosis From Kindergarten to Eighth Grade,” published online June 24, found that disparities in ADHD diagnosis begin in kindergarten and continue until at least eighth grade.
The authors point out that children who are undiagnosed fail to receive interventions that could help mitigate the disorder’s impact on learning and behavior. In addition, they state the study provides support for increased awareness and questioning by health care providers, school psychologists and teachers to ensure minority children receive appropriate diagnosis and access to available interventions such as medication and specialized learning programs.