According to the National Institute of Mental Health:
- 4.1% of the adult US population has ADHD.
- 41.3% of these cases are considered severe.
- Average age of onset is 7 years old.
- 3 to 5 percent, or about 2 million, of American teens suffer from ADHD or ADD.
- 7 percent of parents will have a teen with ADD or ADHD.
- An average class is likely to have at least one teen ADD or ADHD.
According to the National Mental Health Association it is the most common childhood mental disorder, and remains among the most common in the teenage years.
- Up to 50 percent of teens with ADHD or ADD may never be diagnosed, especially among those without health insurance.
- Some researchers suggest that ADHD and ADD are over-diagnosed among those with health insurance.
There has been a recent increase in diagnosis of teen ADHD and ADD, probably due to more understanding of the condition and broader definitions of the disorder, according to Duke University Medical Center.
ADHD Statistics – Child to Adult
- ADHD is most common in childhood.
- 10.1% of all 5-17 year old youth are diagnosed with ADHD at some point.
- 14% of those are boys.
- 5.9% are girls.
- About 30 to 60 percent of patients continue to be affected into adulthood.
- About 80 percent of children who need medication for ADHD still need it as teenagers.
- About 50 percent still need medication as adults.
ADHD Statistics by Sex and Race
- Teen ADD and ADHD are 2 to 3 times more common among boys than girls.
- Non-hispanic white teens are about twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.
- 8 % white
- 4% Hispanic
- 5% African-American
- 14% of white teens living below the poverty level have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.
Among teens who suffer from ADHD or ADD, 30 to 40 percent have another close relative who also has ADD or ADHD, suggesting a genetic component of ADHD and ADD.
Teen ADD and ADHD and Other Disorders
Teen ADD and ADHD are usually accompanied by at least one other behavioral or developmental problem, and a higher risk of juvenile delinquency.
- About 50% of teens who have learning disabilities also have ADD or ADHD.
- Likewise, nearly 50% of those with ADD or ADHD also have a learning disability.
- 15 to 20 percent have specific learning disability, which affects a teen’s ability to understand or use language effectively.
- 20 to 40 percent of teens with ADHD or ADD also develop conduct disorder, which often leads the teen to steal, lie, bully, disrespect the rights of others, or act aggressively toward people and animals. Because teens with conduct disorder frequently break the law, and are at higher risk for substance abuse, it is very important to get them help and help stop juvenile crime.
Teen ADD/ADHD and Driving Statistics
- Teens with ADHD or ADD are four times more likely to get into automobile accidents.
- They are three times more likely to get speeding tickets.
- And are more likely to be in accidents that cause bodily injury.
- 18 percent of deaths due to speed-related accidents are teenagers, these are important numbers to consider for parents when deciding rules for ADHD or ADD teens who want to drive.
Teen ADD/ADHD Treatment Options
- Stimulants are an effective treatment for 70 to 80 percent of ADHD and ADD sufferers.
- Nonstimulants (Strattera) are effective for about 70 percent.
- Diet restrictions – such as avoiding sugar or food additives – help about 5 percent of ADHD or ADD teens, often those who suffer from food allergies.
Teen ADD / ADHD Statistics Sources:
National Institute for Mental Health [online]
National Mental Health Association [online]
WebMD/The Cleveland Clinic [online]
U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” [online]
About.com, ADD and ADHD Statistics: Your Guide to Parenting of Adolescents, “CDC Report Looks at Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” [online]
Center for Disease Control, cdc.gov [online]
Duke University Medical Center [online]
US Environmental Protection Agency, “America’s Children and the Environment” [online]