Disparities in ADHD Presentation across Gender and Age Classifications

Disparities in ADHD Presentation across Gender and Age Classifications

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Running head: ADHD DISPARITIES BETWEEN GENDER AND AGE 1 Disparities in ADHD Presentation across Gender and Age Classifications Jeffrey Nettles Brevard Community College
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ADHD DISPARITIES BETWEEN GENDER AND AGE 2 Abstract When addressing the disparities between adult and adolescent Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) attention must be paid to age and gender differences. Over the years, multiple studies have addressed, for example, adolescent girls versus a control group or adolescent boys versus a control group but none specifically addressed the overall idea of male versus female and additionally, adult versus adolescent. A collection of related ADHD studies were compiled to formulate this “big picture” that each individual study seemed to exclude. As a result, it was determined that there are stark differences between the symptoms seen in adult versus adolescent ADHD but that a lack of research on the adult subject group left many questions unanswered. There was a definite difference between presentation in adults and children as well as how the disorder presents itself across different genders and further research on the adult age group would aid in the completion of this definition.
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ADHD DISPARITIES BETWEEN GENDER AND AGE 3 Disparities in ADHD Presentation across Gender and Age Classifications Ever since being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the second grade, I have been curious about this disorder and how it affects different people. I have known many people who have this disorder, but at different degrees. Could there be a difference in adults rather than adolescents, male versus female? I am hoping to shed more light on this subject so that I might better understand my disorder. Furthermore, when I was originally diagnosed, I was classified as an ADHD adolescent. This meant that I had Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity. Recently, I was re-tested and newly classified with adult ADD without hyperactivity. Could this have changed with age? Before discussing the variances between age and gender, a brief description and understanding of the disorder is essential. ADHD is a disorder that influences multiple facets of mood, cognitive abilities, behaviors, and daily life (Women and AD/HD, 2002). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents, and also affects an estimated 4.1 percent of adults (Kessler, Chiu, Demler, & Walters, 2005, p. 617-627). Furthermore, approximately 70% of ADHD cases exhibit other conditions including, but not limited to, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), mood (e.g., depression), anxiety, and conduct disorders (Robin & Barkley, 1998, p.54). There are many different suspected causes for the separation of symptoms seen between genders. The most common speculated cause is based on differences in development between sexes (O'Brien, Dowell, Mostofsky, Denckla, & Mahone, 2010, p.657). O’Brien et al. (2010) believe that brain development and maturity progress at different rates; specifically when it comes to the development of the temporal and frontal lobe regions (p.657). However, studies
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