Association Between Diagnosed ADHD and Selected Characteristics Among Children Aged 4–17 Years: United States, 2011–2013

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral disorder diagnosed in U.S. children. While this disorder is most often diagnosed in children when they are in elementary school, it is increasingly being identified in preschool children.

A new NCHS report describes the prevalence of diagnosed ADHD among children aged 4–17 years using parent-reported data collected in a large, nationally representative health survey. Differences in the prevalence of diagnosed ADHD are examined by selected demographic and socioeconomic variables: the child’s sex, race and Hispanic ethnicity, health insurance coverage, and poverty status for all children aged 4–17 and among age groups 4–5, 6–11, and 12–17.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2011–2013, 9.5% of children aged 4–17 years were ever diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). For those aged 4–5, prevalence was 2.7%, 9.5% for those aged 6–11, and 11.8% for those aged 12–17.
  • Among all age groups, prevalence of ever diagnosed ADHD was more than twice as high in boys as girls.
  • Among those aged 6–17, prevalence was highest among non-Hispanic white children and lowest among Hispanic children.
  • Among all age groups, prevalence was higher among children with public insurance compared with children with private insurance.
  • Among children aged 4–11, prevalence was higher for children with family income less than 200% of the federal poverty threshold than for children with family income at 200% or more of the poverty threshold.
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