ADHD In Minority Youth: Are Misdiagnoses The New Norm?

African American Black child sitting at classroom deskIs attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) underdiagnosed among African American children?

The answer may hold implications for the well-being of thousands of African American and other minority youths. Just as importantly, the reasons behind the faulty diagnoses can reveal root problems that may stand between clinicians and accurate assessments.

ADHD is a brain disorder with a high rate of heritability, estimated through studies of twins to be around 70-80 percent. A child of a parent with ADHD has greater than a 50 percent chance of having it. The rate of diagnosis is more than twice as great for boys than it is for girls.