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Clinical Implications Of Gender Differences In ADHD Symptomatology

"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders, characterized by hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity. However, much of the knowledge of the disorder is based off of research on a homogenous Caucasian male sample, and a growing body of research reveals disparities between genders in regards to ADHD symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment. Thus, there is a need for a focus on analyzing gender differences in ADHD symptomatology, and the present paper aims to highlight the known research. Gathering data from 12 studies on ADHD and gender differences, the present meta-analysis aims to answer: What are the known gender differences in ADHD symptomatology, and how can the processes of diagnosis and treatment be improved by understanding these gender differences?

The studies revealed that there are numerous known gender differences in ADHD symptomatology: females with ADHD had more internalizing symptoms, were more likely to have comorbid diagnoses of anxiety and depression, had more social and emotional impairment rather than behavioral, and were heavily influenced by hormonal factors. Understanding such gender differences urges parents, teachers, and clinicians to be more educated on recognizing ADHD symptoms in both males and females. Education of different presentations can address numerous of the flaws in the diagnostic process. Diagnosing clinicians should more carefully look at females’ social relationships and self-report and can encourage treatment plans to focus more on their internalizing symptoms and their hormonal cycles. Clinicians and the general public must expand ideas of not only ADHD but other mental health conditions beyond a single presentation."