Skip to comments.Feminine Side Of ADHD: Attention Disorder Has Lasting Impact On Girls
Posted on 07/11/2006 3:24:49 PM PDT by blam
Feminine Side of ADHD: Attention disorder has lasting impact on girls
Although hyperactive behavior often abates during the teen years for girls with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, many struggle with serious academic, emotional, and social problems related to that condition, a 5-year study finds.
Compared with teenage girls who had no psychiatric disorder, those with ADHD had difficulties that included delinquency, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, poor mathematics and reading achievement, rejection by peers, and lack of planning skills, reports a team led by psychologist Stephen P. Hinshaw of the University of California, Berkeley.
"ADHD in girls is likely to yield continuing problems in adolescence, even though hyperactive symptoms may recede," Hinshaw says.
The new findings appear in the June Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
In 1997, Hinshaw's team organized the first of three yearly summer camps for 6- to 12-year-old girls, including individuals already diagnosed with ADHD. The project focused on 140 girls with ADHD and 88 girls with no psychiatric disorder, all of whom completed one of the 5-week programs. Staff monitored each girl's daily behavior and administered a battery of tests without knowing who had an ADHD diagnosis.
Girls with ADHD showed marked problems in academic subjects, in peer relationships, and in planning and time management. Girls' ADHD symptoms involved disorganized and unfocused behavior more than the disruptive, impulsive acts often observed in boys with this condition.
The latest findings, collected from those same girls 5 years later, come from interviews and questionnaires administered at home to 126 girls with ADHD and 81 girls with no disorder. The researchers also obtained reports on each girl's behavior from her parents and teachers.
Of girls diagnosed with ADHD as 6-to-12-year-olds, 39, or nearly a third, no longer displayed the condition as teens. The 87 adolescent girls who continued to deal with ADHD grappled with learning problems, psychiatric symptoms, and social difficulties far beyond any observed in teen girls never diagnosed with ADHD, the researchers say. Only about half of the girls who originally displayed symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness did so as teenagers.
The new data mirror earlier reports that hyperactivity in boys with ADHD often recedes during adolescence as problems with inattention grow worse, remarks psychiatrist Benedetto Vitiello of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md. "ADHD is a developmental condition that changes over time in similar ways in boys and girls," Vitiello says.
In the new study, no specific form of treatment was associated with shedding ADHD between childhood and adolescence.
Treatment effects are difficult to tease out in samples such as this, Hinshaw says. Girls with severe, hard-to-treat ADHD symptoms tend to seek treatment, as do those with mild symptoms who are highly motivated to get help or whose parents are treatment savvy.
As many as 7 million children and teenagers in the United States have been diagnosed at some time in their lives with ADHD. The condition occurs about three times as often in boys as in girls.
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That's because most boys who are diagnosed with ADHD are simply acting like boys and not girls. Teachers today don't know how to handle boys (maybe because they are mostly women).
It is just a way to control boys in class without having to do actual work.
"World To End Today:Women and Minorities Hit Hardest"
Girls are more than half the population. Why should it be so significant that this *affects girls* and more than it affecting boys. News flash. *Children are at risk* DUH!
My sister,a very hard working,productive,middle class gal was recently diagnosed as having it at one of Harvard Medical School's largest teaching hospitals.
And,no,she's not gonna apply for SSDI or anything like that.
Tell that to my 19 year old daughter who has fought with ADHD and depression her whole life. Nothing fake about it. Nothing.
Teachers apparently want more referral fees.
"Research" that is set up to find predetermined results is not science it is fraud. Why do they even call it social science? What hubris. The Physics and Chemistry departments must laugh and laugh at these wannabes who pretend to be scientists. There's no such thing as soft science. If research doesn't result in good hard repeatable results then it is fraud pure and simple.
I'm amazed that anyone buys any of the silly stuff that comes from of the social science wingnuts. I mean, this is Oprah kind of stuff, not real science. None of these "studies" ever survives an independent peer review. What an insult to real scientists. Why don't real scientists publicly repudiate these pretenders?
A struggle is not a disease.
"Attention Disorder Has Lasting Impact On Girls"
'been saying that for years.
Thank God I am not growing up today.
Today, they would have slammed those drugs in me so fast it would have made my head spin.
I simply do not believe it is a real disorder. I think it is kids being kids. Do kids get hyperactive? You bet. Do kids get depressed? Absolutely. I just do not believe it is a real "disorder". I think it is an excuse to drug kids to keep them in line.
Just my opinion.
Yes of course it is a real condition, many people on here are ignorant and shallow and accept the talking points w/o having any real knowledge. maybe ADHD is overdiagnosed and over medicated but it is very real for many many people.
A teenage girl who is our babysitter and friend has ADHD. She seems quite intelligent but is doing very badly in school. I worry about her future.
By the way, how much are you paid for your medical expertise?
We ended up putting her in our local public school for many complicated reasons (one of which was her sister who at a very young age showed evidence of brilliance and I was honestly too afraid to teach her and possibly screw her up)
The schools have worked with us at times and not at others. She bonded with a few teachers who are, in my opinion, saints here on earth. There were a couple that were rotten. She's going to college this fall at a small, private school with a whole lot of support. I've never been this nervous and you can believe I'll do what I can from 4 hours away, but the time has come for her to be on her own. Tons of deep breaths and prayers--and my husband says a drink now and then won't hurt.
And your background in medical research (particularly at the Harvard level) allows you to make such a statement because.....
Sometimes meds just don't work and the only thing that helps is providing a stable family to work through problems and decisions.
My daughter watches less than 10 hours of TV a month and reads constantly. She has too much energy to sit and watch. But reading takes her mind to other places and soothes her.
Just some free advice....probably worth what you just paid for it :)
The ignorant freepers will be attracted to this thread like flies telling us the lie that this is a made up disease. At least ADHD can be treated with medication. Ignorance can't be.
I may have the ADD disease but I try not to be ignorant
#1 A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.
#2 A condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful.
Thank you for sharing your experience. We all make the mistake of thinking we know the answers to things that don't concern us directly. There shouldn't be a "conservative" approach to an illness. Just a medical and human one.
1. She doesn't watch that much TV.
2. She seems very insightful, is a good organizer and works very hard but she clearly has some sort of learning disability. She has trouble reading books to my son and her spelling is incredibly bad.
3. I can remember kids in my elementary school who would clearly be classified as having ADHD today. This was over 40 years ago. There was not much TV to watch in my town. One of these kids was a big reader but had trouble paying attention or sitting still in school. His family did not own a TV.
4. Maybe too many people re being grouped together under the heading ADHD, but there clearly are kids who have problems focussing on schoolwork despite seeming otherwise intelligent. What is your solution for them?
5. I was hoping that I could give our babysitter some tips that would help her get into a good college. Now it seems like graduating from high school without getting pregnant might be a more realistic goal.
6. It's hard to offer help or academic suggestions to teen agers without seeming like their parents.
Bump for later.
Most women I've known have ADHD, they never paid much attention to what I had to say.
Since most people are willing to concede that we may develop diseases of the liver, kidneys, bone, eyes, stomach, skin, or immune system, why is it difficult to believe that there might be diseases of the brain? Why can you not concede that something could go wrong with the incredibly complex and delicate neurochemistry that regulates our behavior?
BS. I've had this mess all my life. Its like you mind doesn't hold on to it tracks for long. If school classes only lasted 15 minutes, I could have been a Rhodes Scholar. I've tried every discipline you can think of. If the subject matter isn't bang 'em up my mind goes out in left field somewhere. It like some one has a TV remote control pointed at you and they keep changing the channels. Its a bitch.
It may not be a disease in the clinical sense but is it a condition to be reckoned with.
I made it without "Meds" and with the help of my family, as you say.
Nowadays they just say "this is a chemical imbalance -- it is impossible to overcome by force of will."
Except in the extreme, your brain is subject to your internal discipline. That is the definition of responsibility.
But it does take people around you that make it IMPORTANT to excercise that discipline.
To choose between love and meds, I'll take the love. But I do have some compassion for those whose don't have love on the choice menu.
The even more amazing thing is that there was no such thing as "clinical depression" until it was labeled as such.
I'm not at all sure what you mean here. Do you mean that there was no one who fit the current description of clinical depression before it was formally defined as such?
That is exactly how a friend described it to me some years ago.........
The people on this thread stating there is no such thing as ADHD are being ridiculous. Of course the condition exists. It's always existed.
Only now, medical science has labeled it and is trying to deal with it.
The problem is that we're living in a period of time where it's being over-diagnosed by half-wit - and wannabe - doctors.
You got that right! It's as if everything has some 'value-judgement' on it. Offering help can be sometimes be construed as implying that her parents didn't do a good job in some way when all you are doing is trying to help a kid for who you have fond feelings!
When it comes to college, know that there are schools are there that work with these type of kids (my daughter is going to one this fall). They may be more expensive, but going to a huge state school is a waste of money.
who == whom **sigh**
So sorry! I was reading their comments and thought you were in the same vein.
I must add that even your sarcastic comment sounded much more informed and intelligent than many of the other comments. I don't understand the knee-jerk bashing.
"Compared with teenage girls who had no psychiatric disorder..."
As a former Teenage Girl, we're all pretty psycho while our hormones are going wild, we're getting boobs and zits and hair (down there!), we're obsessed with horses and the Hollywood Hunk of the Week, we're contemplating tatoos or piercings and are busy cat-fighting with the girl who WAS our Best Friend last week and is now our Sworn Mortal Enemy! (And we'll make her pay. Yes. We. Will. *Snicker*)
I'd be interested to see how they even found a control group of female teens that they thought were free of psychotic tendencies, LOL!
What? They don't use control groups to actually prove or disprove medical findings when they want a specific outcome? My bad. *Smirk*
"DING DING DING! What do we have for her, Johnny?"
"Tell that to my 19 year old daughter who has fought with ADHD and depression her whole life. Nothing fake about it. Nothing."
Don't think twice about the utter ignorance of these people. The problem with looking at it from an adolescent standpoint is that sometimes, it emulates the immature way kids will act. So ignorant people say it is just kids being kids and blame the teachers. While behavioral problems shouldn't always be blamed on ADHD, it is a VERY REAL problem, especially in today's hustle and bustle world. ADHD people are usually very intelligent, and are many times very successful only because they keep cruising no matter what (people with the depression aspect have an extra challenge on them). But their poor brain changes channels from one subject to the next constantly. These people self medicate with alcohol (even though they are not alcoholics), with caffeine, and unfortunately many times with illicit amphetamines. It is medical fact that ADHD people get a calming effect from stimulants like Ritalin. That is fact. People who are not ADHD get hyper when they take Ritalin. While I agree that it is hard to tell in an adolescent, mainly because of the different maturity levels of kids of the same age, adults with ADHD will tell you, it is not fake. People need to stop listening to radio talk show hosts, and develop some critical thinking skills of their own.
The initial testing involved reading her brain waves when presented with decision making. I am giving the most simplest explanation as I do not understand all of the testing parameters. But, it didn't hurt, she loved the attention and looked forward to going for "testing" for the couple of years she did it.
You mention other very legitimate problems and we do need research for all of that too. But, to say that ADHD doesn't exist because it can't be measured--nope, try again.
Just curious...did ANYONE suggest changing her dietary routine?