Are boys diagnosed with ADHD more than girls?

Recent data from surveys of parents indicate that boys (13.2 percent) were more likely than girls (5.6 percent) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.

Yes. Boys are more often diagnosed with ADHD. Boys tend to be very energetic and active which can sometimes exaggerate the symptoms seen. Sometimes girls’ symptoms of ADHD are more subtle; symptoms like fidgeting, day dreaming, and talkativeness.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Experts are not exactly sure why, but boys are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than girls. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, boys are diagnosed with ADHD three times more often than girls.

The National Resource Center on ADHD shares the 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finding that 11 percent of boys are diagnosed with ADHD compared to four percent of girls. This means that 1 in 10 boys in the United States have ADHD, compared to only 1 in 25 girls. It could be due to sex differences or social expectations. Girls may be less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, but some girls may benefit from ADHD treatments. If your daughter displays behaviors including inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, talk to her doctor.

Boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More than 10 percent of school-age boys have been diagnosed. Fewer than 6 percent of school-age girls have been diagnosed.

Boys are almost three times as likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder than girls. However, since the difference is so dramatic, this may mean that we are missing ADHD in some girls. Boys with the condition are more likely to lean toward the “hyperactive” side, exhibiting behaviors that can be disruptive in class and more noticeable at home. So they get pinpointed fairly easily. Girls, on the other, are more likely to be “inattentive,” and the cause of their daydreaming and lack of organization can be overlooked by teachers and parents. Bottom line: If you are concerned that your child might have ADHD, talk to your pediatrician as soon as possible.

Continue Learning about ADD/ADHD Diagnosis

The Youngest Kindergarteners May Be Overdiagnosed with ADHD
The Youngest Kindergarteners May Be Overdiagnosed with ADHD
When the pilot for The Andy Griffith Show aired in 1959, Ron Howard was five-years-old. He was born on March 1st, so if he started kindergarten that y...
Read More
What will a doctor do to diagnose ADHD in my child?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
When diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), your child's doctor will review...
More Answers
How does a doctor diagnose ADHD?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Current psychiatric guidelines require that children satisfy strict criteria before qualifying for a...
More Answers
Why Is ADHD Often Misdiagnosed?
Why Is ADHD Often Misdiagnosed?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.