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Social Determinants of Health and ADHD Symptoms in Preschool-Age Children.



Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) disproportionately affects socioeconomically disadvantaged children, but for unclear reasons. We examined the association between social determinants of health (SDH) and ADHD symptoms in a national sample of preschool-age children.


We conducted exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) with a sample of 7,565 preschool-age children from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, to examine the association between ADHD symptoms and SDH.


EFA indicated a one-factor structure for ADHD symptoms, and three factors for SDH (socioeconomic status, access to basic needs, and caregiver well-being). Independently, all three SDH were significantly associated with higher ADHD symptoms. However, in the ESEM model, only worse caregiver well-being (β = .39, p < .01) was significantly associated with ADHD symptoms, and fully mediated the relationship between SDH and ADHD symptoms.


Addressing caregiver well-being in preschoolers with ADHD symptoms could be an early intervention strategy.

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