1 in 9 American Kids Diagnosed With ADHD, New Study Finds

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that calls attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder an “expanding public health concern.”

Researchers found that in 2022, 7.1 million kids and adolescents in the U.S. had received an ADHD diagnosis — a million more children than in 2016. That jump in diagnoses was not surprising, given that the data was collected during the pandemic, says Melissa Danielson, a statistician with the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and the study’s lead author. She notes that other studies have found that many children experienced heightened stress, depression and anxiety during the pandemic. “A lot of those diagnoses… might have been the result of a child being assessed for a different diagnosis, something like anxiety or depression, and their clinician identifying that the child also had ADHD,” Danielson says. The increase in diagnoses also comes amid growing awareness of ADHD — and the different ways that it can manifest in children…

The study, which appears in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, was based on data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, which gathers detailed information from parents.