STATES CHRONICLE – We live in the age of information. We were never before able to access so much information in such a short time as we can today. So, of course, most of us chose to stay informed. And this might actually be the reason behind the recent increase in ADHD cases in America: people now know what to look for. Read on to find out about ADHD frequency not rising, people getting better at diagnosing.
A study performed by Sean D. Cleary from the George Washington University and Kevin P. Collins of Mathematica Policy Research, recently revealed a huge increase in reported cases ADHD among children.
The research was based on data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, and it recorded the parents which were told by an appropriate party that their children suffered from the disorder.
The statistics are very worrisome, showing a very big rise in the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, mostly for girls and ethnic groups, especially Hispanics. The rise was also present for Caucasian boys, however in a slightly smaller measure than for the other groups.
The study focused on the increased prevalence of the disorder from 2003 to 2011 and the numbers are troublesome. It shows an increase in the prevalence of the affection of up to 83% in the case of Hispanic children.
Other numbers show a 55% increase in diagnostics among girls, and a 43% increase overall in children aged 5 to 17.
However, the huge differences in the prevalence of the disorder in only 8 years must be attributed to something. And sadly, the study measuring the statistics was only observational, not experimental. Not only that, but it used data already collected, so it didn’t come up with any results other than those the researchers were looking for.
In fact, the author of the study himself says that the dramatic increase in prevalence affecting the Hispanic communities could be related to the fact that they only started administering the test in Spanish in 2003.
So, seeing as there is no relational cause to which to link the rapid increase in the prevalence of ADHD cases, the most likely explanation is that there isn’t an actual increase in cases.
What changed is that information became more readily available to anyone with an internet access. Not only that, but more and more people are drawn towards psychology, and they actually know what they’re doing.
So what I’m suggesting is that the number of ADHD cases did not necessarily increase, but that the improved state in which we currently find our world, both information-wise and medical-wise, led to more accurate diagnostics of the disorder.
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