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C. How Socio-Economic Status Affects the Diagnosis of ADHD

Narrator: This is Science Today. There have been reports that doctors are overdiagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. But researchers studying the disorder say overdiagnosis affects mostly upper and middle class children. Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, says children of lower socio-economic status are actually underdiagnosed.

Hinshaw: There's some reason to think that there might be slightly more ADHD among lower SES families. One of the paradoxes is that the current controversy about overdiagnosis, overtreating these kids, is really a white middle class, upper middle class suburban phenomenon.

Narrator: Hinshaw says the media should address this discrepancy in order to promote better care in less privileged communities.

Hinshaw: There's a disconnect between access to treatments between suburban well-to-do families, who may be in some ways pushing for this diagnosis, and between more of the children who might truly deserve the diagnosis who aren't getting the access to treatment.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.