Child Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorderv (ADHD) in Same-Sex Parent Families in the United States: Prevalence and Comorbidities
British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research 6(10): 987-998, 2015, Article no. BJMMR.2015.275, ISSN: 2231-061
12 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2015 Last revised: 10 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 21, 2015
Aims: This paper presents the first population data on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children raised by same-sex parents with the aims 1) to test whether residence with same-sex parents is associated with higher ADHD prevalence, and 2) to observe and assess any clinically significant aggravators or comorbidities.
Methodology: Aggregate data for 1997-2013 from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey yielded a representative sample of children from 207,007 households, including 512 with same-sex parents, permitting inferential comparisons.
Results: ADHD was more than twice (OR 2.4, 95% CL 1.6-3.4) as prevalent among children with same-sex parents than in the general population, after controlling for age, sex, ethnicity and parent SES. Comorbidities with general emotional problems and defiance behavior were standard. ADHD risk with same-sex parents was reduced among adopted children (OR 0.54 95% CL .27-1.1), null in the presence of parent psychological distress, and substantially elevated in the presence of stigmatization (OR 7.3 95% CL 1.4-38.1). In same-sex families, children with ADHD were over seven times (OR 7.5 95% CL 1.2-46.8) more likely to suffer stigmatization due to impaired interpersonal coping skills.
Conclusion: Diagnostic intake for ADHD should include parent sexual orientation, and treatment programs should include resources to bolster anti-victimization skills, particularly for children with same-sex parents. Results suggest the presence of shared genetic factors for same-sex attraction and ADHD, though more research is needed to confirm.
Note: SSRN version includes erratum for Table 5. SSRN version includes errata.
Keywords: National health Interview Survey, same-sex parents, ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, stigmatization
JEL Classification: J12, J13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation