Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis has significantly increased over the years. In fact, it has doubled in the last 40 years. Professionals have pointed to better understanding of ADHD and better diagnostic tools as possible explanations for this increase. In the February issue of JAMA Pediatrics, researchers have offered another possible explanation. The shift in academic demands could influence the increase of diagnosis of ADHD.

According to the researchers, “The biggest change was seen among 6- to 8-year-olds. By 1997, they were spending over two hours a week on homework, versus less than one hour in 1981. Even preschoolers were feeling the pressure. By 2005, 77 percent of parents said they “frequently” taught their 3- to 5-year-olds letters, words and numbers. That was up from 58 percent in 1993.”  They were not suggesting a cause and effect, meaning increase of homework and academic demands cause ADHD. ADHD is a neurological disorder. Their belief is that environmental factors could exasperate symptoms, not cause them. To address this issue, they suggest in focusing on how education/lessons are presented to children. click for more