ADHD: Social disadvantage and computer training programmes

ADHD 2 studiesResearch studies published in the past week have identified evidence of a link between social and economic status and childhood ADHD in the UK, and that computer-based training programmes do not produce lasting benefits for young people with ADHD.

A study led by researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School analysed data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a database of more than 19,500 UK children born between 2000 and 2002. They concluded that although genetic and neurological determinants may be the primary predictors of difficulties with activity level and attention, aetiology appears to be influenced by socioeconomic situation. ADHD was associated with a range of indicators of social and economic disadvantage including poverty, housing tenure, maternal education, income, lone parenthood and younger motherhood. There was no evidence to suggest childhood ADHD was a causal factor of socioeconomic disadvantage: income did not decrease for parents of children with ADHD compared to controls over the 7-year study period.

In a separate study in the United States, researchers have indicated that claims regarding the academic, behavioural, and cognitive benefits associated with computer-based cognitive training programmes are unsupported in children with ADHD.

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