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Lower Socioeconomic Status Linked to ADHD

Update Date: Nov 26, 2013 01:39 PM EST

Children from families of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to have attention deficit disorder, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in UK found that many British children with the disorder are from very disadvantaged families. The latest study revealed that more children with ADHD came from families below the poverty line than the UK population as a whole.

For example, the average family incomes for households whose child was affect by ADHD was £324 ($523) per week, compared to £391 ($633) for those whose child was not. The study also revealed that the chance of parents in social housing having a child with ADHD was roughly tree times greater than for those who owned their own homes.

Younger mothers were also more likely to have children with ADHD compared to other moms. Mothers with lower education levels were more than twice as likely to have children with ADHD compared to those with degrees. Single parents were also more likely to have children with ADHD than families with two live-in parents.

"There is a genetic element to ADHD, but this study provides strong evidence that ADHD is also associated with a disadvantaged social and economic background," researcher Dr. Ginny Russell said in a news release.

"Some people believe that ADHD in children causes disadvantage to the economic situation of their family, but we found no evidence to support that theory. It's important to discover more about the causes of this disorder so that we can look towards prevention, and so that we can target treatment and support effectively," Russell added.

The findings are published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

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