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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Diagnostic Issues and Gender Differences of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Author(s): Valdovinos, Cecilia
  • et al.

This literature review looks at different studies on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) and the findings on gender differences. Many studies have analyzed male and femaleADHD behaviors, cognitive functioning, IQ, task performance, and parent/teacher and selfreportedratings. Most studies have found that the results for gender differences vary due to thevarying sample selection methods that they use, which include clinical and community samples,sample size, culture, and age. Results have been compared, and most studies have shown thatsimply using one sample type limits the generalization of the results. Also, some studies focusedon different behaviors exhibited by and reported for children and adults with ADHD, and usedthose behaviors as a criteria for diagnosing and comparing and contrasting gender differences.Some of the main findings reported by most studies were that males externalize their ADHDbehaviors while females internalize theirs. Other studies have reported that females and maleswith ADHD show no impairment differences, but that they are significantly more impaired thanmales and females without ADHD. The discrepancies in these study findings are compared andevaluated on the significance that they have to the higher prevalence of ADHD in males, and suggestions on how to make future studies and diagnosis better are given.

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