Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a neurobehavioral, or psychiatric, disorder that is characterized by chronic inattention and/or impulsive hyperactivity severe enough to interfere with daily functioning.
Parents of 6.4 percent of children reported that their child had ADD/ADHD at the time of the survey. For nearly half of children with ADD/ADHD, the condition was reported as mild (46.9 percent); however, for 39.1 percent of children with ADD/ADHD the severity of the condition was reported to be moderate, and for the remaining 14.1 percent, the condition was considered severe by the parent. The proportion of children with ADD/ADHD varied with regard to the child's sex. Boys were significantly more likely than girls to have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD (9.1 versus 3.5 percent, respectively).
The proportion of children with ADD/ADHD varied by race and ethnicity. Parents of multiracial children were most likely to have reported that their child currently had ADD/ADHD (9.3 percent), followed by parents of Black and White children (7.4 and 7.2 percent, respectively). Parents of 3.7 percent of Hispanic children reported that their child had ADD/ADHD, as did the parents of 2.8 percent of children of other races. The low reported rate of ADHD among Hispanic children is consistent with other national studies.1
The prevalence of ADD/ADHD varied with poverty status. Of children with household incomes below the poverty level, 8.1 percent were reported to have ADD/ADHD, compared to 6.8 percent of children with household incomes between 100 and 199 percent of poverty, 5.9 percent of children with household incomes between 200 and 399 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL), and 5.6 percent of children with household incomes of 400 percent or more of the FPL.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental Health in the United States: Prevalence of diagnosis and medication treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder – United States, 2003. MMWR 2005: 54:842-847.