ADHD linked to bullying

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Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are almost four times as likely as other children to be bullies, and are almost 10 times more likely than others to be the regular victims of bullying before the onset of ADHD symptoms, says a Swedish study that followed 577 fourth graders for one year.

The children studied represented the entire population of a municipality in Stockholm.

Researchers interviewed the children, along with their parents and teachers, in order to identify which children may have had ADHD. Those with signs of the disorder were then seen by a paediatric neurologist for a diagnosis. The children were also asked about bullying, MSNBC reported.

The study findings emphasise the importance of observing how children with ADHD symptoms interact with their peers, said study co-author Dr Anders Hjern, a professor of paediatric epidemiology at the University of Uppsala in Stockholm.

This could help teachers and parents identify children at potential risk of bullying and being bullied, MSNBC reported. An estimated 4 percent to 12 percent of children have ADHD, the network said.

The study appears in the February issue of the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. – (HealthDayNews)

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Child Centre

January 2008

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