have trouble paying attention. “The hyperactivity tends to come to the attention of teachers and parents, and gets kids in trouble with their peers,” while a lack of attention is less noticeable, says Nadine Kaslow, chief psychologist at Emory University School of Medicine.
In the UC-Berkeley study, researchers enrolled 228 girls aged 6 to 12 in day camps held from 1997 to 1999. Of the girls, 140 had ADHD and were specially recruited; the others, who weren’t diagnosed with ADHD, were told the camps were for “enrichment.”
The girls with ADHD went off their medications for the six-week day camp periods so researchers could observe their “natural” behavior.
Researchers watched the girls closely and found those with ADHD were often socially isolated and uninterested in following directions.
The girls with ADHD weren’t as physically aggressive as boys with the disorder, but Hinshaw says they were more likely to engage in what is called “relational aggression”, which is described as getting back at someone by excluding them from an activity or social group, or spreading rumors rather than directly aggressing against them.
The girls scored as poorly as boys on tests of their abilities to set goals, alter strategies in response to changing situations, and make plans.
Kaslow praises the study and says more attention to the ADHD problems of girls will help