ADHD is a chronic behavioral disorder of childhood onset (by age 7). ADHD affects children, adolescents, and adults. It is characterized by behavior that is hyperactive, impulsive, or inattentive. There are several different types of ADHD. Some children are primarily inattentive and do not display signs of hyperactivity. Others however, are hyperactive and/or impulsive. The rest exhibit a mixture of these symptoms.

The cause of ADHD is not known at this time, but brain chemistry, genetics, and environmental factors may all play roles in the development of ADHD.

It is estimated that almost 8% of American children have ADHD (about 1-3 children in every classroom of 30 children). About 60% of children with ADHD will continue to experience trouble related to their disorder into adulthood.

Because so many cases of ADHD are diagnosed in childhood, the information provided here is geared toward children.

What are the risk factors for ADHD?What are the symptoms of ADHD?How is ADHD diagnosed?What are the treatments for ADHD?Are there screening tests for ADHD?How can I reduce my (or my child’s) risk of ADHD?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with ADHD?Where can I get more information about ADHD?

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2017 -
  • Update Date: 09/17/2014 -