Quinn PO. Treating adolescent girls and women with ADHD: gender-specific issues

National Center for Gender Issues and ADHD, Wasington, DC 20015, USA.
Journal of Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.12). 05/2005; 61(5):579-87. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.20121
Source: PubMed


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), commonly diagnosed in males, is often a "hidden disorder" in girls and women. This lack of recognition can be partially explained because the symptoms are less overt in females. In addition, coexisting disorders in females are often different from those seen in males who have ADHD. Higher rates of anxiety, mood, and substance disorders, as well as learning disabilities, often complicate the picture. Thus, clinicians are challenged with disentangling the symptoms of ADHD from symptoms of these coexisting conditions. In addition, fluctuating hormone levels may affect ADHD symptoms and treatment in females. Only with gender-sensitive diagnosis and treatment will the public health concern posed by the underdiagnosis of ADHD in females be addressed. This case report of a 23-year-old female illustrates the specific difficulties with the gender-sensitive aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in females.

43 Reads
  • Source
    • "Research on ADHD benefits from studying compensation , because compensation might hide a core deficit of ADHD . As a result , some individuals with ADHD do not receive a diagnosis resulting in underdiagnosis , especially in females ( Quinn , 2005 ; Merkt and Gawrilow , 2014 ) . Such an underdiagnosis might be particularly detrimental if the consequences of the psychological compensation are maladaptive , as for instance an obsessive – compulsive behavior to meet college demands ( Merkt and Gawrilow , 2014 ) . "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The term compensation is widely used in the context of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), yet, it is neither defined nor theory driven. Adapting a model of psychological compensation (Bäckman and Dixon, 1992) to fit ADHD research is the aim of this review: We will (1) introduce the existing theoretical framework of psychological compensation, (2) discuss its applicability to ADHD and adapt the model to fit ADHD research, and (3) set up requirements for research on psychological compensation in ADHD. According to the framework psychological compensation can be inferred if a deficit (i.e., a mismatch between skill and environmental demand) is counterbalanced by the investment of more effort, the utilization of latent skills, or the acquisition of new skills. The framework has to be adapted because ADHD deficits are developmental and in individuals with ADHD compensation can appear independent of awareness of the deficit. A better understanding of psychological compensation in ADHD could foster diagnosis and interventions. Therefore, we suggest that future studies should follow a research design incorporating independent measures of deficit, compensation and outcome as well as include individuals who compensate for their ADHD related deficits.
    Frontiers in Psychology 10/2015; DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01580 · 2.80 Impact Factor
    • "In addition, boys with ADHD may be more prone to present with comorbid conduct disorder, with ODD, and with externalizing symptoms, including stress intolerance, poor social skills and awkwardness [12] [16] [42]. Males with ADHD have also higher rates of criminal behaviors than their female counterparts [43] [44]. In contrast, girls and adult women with ADHD have been reported to exhibit higher levels of inattentive symptoms, greater intellectual impairments, and more internalizing symptoms, including greater emotional instability and a more negative self-image, and higher rates of separation anxiety disorder, eating disorders and somatization disorders, than males with ADHD [18] [33] [43] [45]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a multifactorial and heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of age-inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. Evidence from epidemiological studies indicate that the prevalence of ADHD in males and females may be more similar than once thought, with a ratio of approximately 2:1 in children and 1.6:1 in adults. In the present chapter it is aimed to review the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie gender differences in attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, focusing on the differential aspects of ADHD in males. There are gender-related differences in comorbid psychiatric conditions among subjects with ADHD along the life-span, with males having higher rates of ¨externalizing¨ disorders, while females may have more frequently ¨internalizing¨ disorders. ADHD is a polygenic disorder and various evidence suggest that genetic effects may be more pronounced in boys, and boys may have a lower threshold for the expression of neurodevelopmental and conduct disorders. A growing literature reveals ADHD-related dysfunctions in multiple neuronal networks involved in higher-level cognitive and sensorimotor functions, including the visual system, as well as in the default network. However, the majority of neuroimaging studies of ADHD have used largely or exclusively male individuals. Scattered reports have suggested gender differences in patterns of neural activation consistent with hypotheses and evidences suggesting right frontal abnormalities, as well as altered cerebellar-prefrontal-striatal networks in ADHD, more prominent in males. Future research, using large enough samples should expand our understanding about gender effects in ADHD, as this will improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
    Neurobiology of men's mental health, Edited by Leo Sher, Timothy R. Rice, 10/2015: chapter Neurobiological basis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Are males different?: pages 29-41; Nova Science Publishers., ISBN: 978-1-63483-217-5
  • Source
    • "The importance of gender is particularly interesting and might point to differential sex-related etiology in this neurodevelopmental disorder. Furthermore, hyperactivity is frequently a " hidden disorder " in girls [29]. It is well "

Show more