Attention and Behavior problems, particularly Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), involve symptoms of lack of attention (inattentiveness), over-activity (hyperactivity), and/or impulsive behavior (impulsivity).
What is ADHD?
- For inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a child’s age and development.
- ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood. It affects about 3 – 5% of school aged children. ADHD is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls.
- While occasionally diagnosed in children as young as 2 or 3 years, ADHD is more apparent after children begin school.
- ADHD may run in families, but it is not clear exactly what causes it. Whatever the cause may be, it seems to be set in motion early in life as the brain is developing. Imaging studies suggest that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children.
- Every child suspected of having ADHD should be carefully examined by a doctor to rule out possible other conditions or reasons for the behavior.
- Most children with ADHD also have at least one other developmental or behavioral problem. They may also have a psychiatric problem, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
For more information about ADHD:
- Visit the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health Medline Plus page on ADHD.
CERCH Findings on Attention and Behavior:
- From the CHAMACOS Study: Health Outcomes Study -
- Mothers’ exposure to organophosphate pesticides during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of attention problems in children. (Go to publication)
- For related CERCH health outcome information and CERCH research findings, see also Neurodevelopment and IQ.
How does CERCH measure attention- and behavior-related outcomes?
- Maternal and teacher reports of child behavior.
- Child interviews.
- Direct assessment of the child using peer-reviewed neurodevelopmental test batteries such as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Neurodevelopmental Psychological Assessment – Second Edition (NEPSY-II), and Conners’ Kiddie Continuous Performance Test (K-CPT).
- CERCH Staff, blinded to the outcomes of the test batteries, give reports of the child’s behavior during testing.