Why do people not notice ADHD symptoms in girls as much as boys?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Girls often show less obvious signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than boys. While boys are more likely to display hyperactive behaviors as a result of ADHD, girls usually experience less noticeable symptoms of ADHD, like inattention. Because they are less disruptive than boys with ADHD, parents and teachers may not realize that girls have a problem until their schoolwork or relationships start to suffer.

Better diagnoses and treatment for females with ADHD are clearly needed, which may reduce a number of problems that girls with ADHD experience, including:
  • problems in school
  • problems with peer relationships
  • mental health disorders
  • substance abuse
The National Resource Center on ADHD reports that research has typically focused on how ADHD affects males. However, researchers are starting to study the differences in how ADHD affects boys and girls.

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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.