ADHD ? What Is ADHD and Do Socioeconomic Factors Influence ADHD Symptoms?

ADHD ? What Is ADHD and Do Socioeconomic Factors Influence ADHD Symptoms?

ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Most estimates have the number of diagnosed cases growing a rate of 3 percent every year making it one of the most diagnosed conditions of our time. One recent study estimated that one out of every ten school aged children and one out of every 17 adults struggle with one of the three types of ADHD (inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, combined).

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a biological condition caused by a chemical neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain producing one or more of the primary symptoms of inattention/focus, impulsivity, and hyperactivity/restlessness.

The ADHD research taking place today is rooted in the premise that people with ADHD have one primary problem: the inability to consistently regulate their attention and behaviors.

What childhood factors could influence ADHD as one grows older?

This type of research is just starting to come to forefront as we try to better understand the how and why of ADHD. It is also a helpful tool in better understanding why ADHD only carries forward into adulthood about half of the time.

According to one study, the four most influential factors in predicting a positive outcome for ADHD children moving forward are: being brought up in an intact household above the poverty level, being raised by parents void of psychiatric problems, a consistent parenting style, and by parents who are both emotionally and physically engaged in their children’s lives.

Studies also show that children raised in a household where aggressive behavior, depression, and substance abuse are commonplace have a much higher risk of having adult ADHD. Additional factors thought to increase the risks include lower intelligence and learning disabilities.

Does poverty play a role?

Another factor seem to be that of socioeconomic status. Research indicates that children and teens brought up in poverty have a much greater chance of not only having ADHD in the first place but carrying it forward into adulthood.

Many of  these households consist of parents who are either unemployed or underemployed, don’t have health insurance, and because of their financial struggles are unable or unwilling to schedule regular medical checkups for either their children or themselves.

If one or both parents  have the condition the chances are even greater that the child will be brought up in poverty because their parents may be unable to get or retain a job, are at high risk of divorce, and are more likely to be arrested or jailed.

When it comes to poverty and ADHD is it the chicken or the egg? After all we know that 80 percent of untreated ADHD children underachieve in school, with many having behavioral problems to boot. Do these factors lead to parental situations which are inherited thus repeating the cycle? Or is it the influence of socioeconomic status that drives their ADHD symptoms to the forefront of their behavioral tendencies. I will leave these questions for you to decide.

What else? For those struggling with ADHD finding an effective treatment option is an important first step. The most common form of treatment currently are prescription stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse. While effective, all stimulant medications come with a number of serious label warnings. The risk of side effects, or perhaps lack of success with stimulants, has prompted many to investigate other options. A couple examples of this are behavior modification therapy and/or natural remedies. Natural remedies for ADHD are a side effect free way to address such problematic symptoms as inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, erratic behavior and hyperactivity and can be used both as a standalone treatment or as a compliment to other nonprescription alternatives.   

Rob Hawkins is an enthusiastic advocate for the use of natural health products and natural living with over 10 years experience in the field.
Learn more about natural remedies and natural health at

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