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Summary

            This was a study conducted to determine the factors that increased the probability of elementary learners being diagnosed with ADHD in the USA. The study applied logistic regression to evaluate and estimate the risk factors associated with ADHD in a five year longitudinal study. The study was seeking to answer the question “Who receives a diagnosis of ADHD in the United States elementary school population?”

Limitations

            The study was unable to estimate the relationships with precision. Most of the children in the population sample had received ADHD diagnosis prior to enactment of restrictive laws for ADHD diagnosis. Children in religious schools were unlikely to receive the diagnosis of ADHD. The independent variables were not randomly assigned to the risk factors and the study relied on diagnosis from parents increasing misreporting risks. The children examined were in kindergarten grade three implying that the results cannot be interpreted for children attending other higher grades. The study was limited by the lack of research addressing misreporting of ADHD diagnosis.

Methodology of the Study

            The study was a longitudinal survey conducted on five year old kindergarten children from 1998 to 2002. The sample population comprised 5998-9278 children with the sample being determined by a number of variables. Dependent and independent variables were used in the study with ADHD diagnosed cases as the dependent variable. The independent variables used in the study included child characteristics, family characteristic, geographical characteristics, teacher characteristics, school characteristics, and state policies.

Major findings

            The study found a 5.44% estimated prevalence for diagnosis of ADHD for the independent variables. The study also indicated differences in variables for those children diagnosed with ADHD. There was a 21.9% chance of children diagnosed with ADHD being female and 50.0% chance of children diagnosed to be without ADHD being female. Self-reported diagnosis prevalence for the white children is 80.5%, for the Hispanic children – 8.6%, for the black children – 5.54%, and for Asian children – 3.56%. The study was able to link ADHD with a variety of factors.

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