Trends in Child Health 1997-2006: Assessing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Diagnoses of ADHD/ADD and of Learning Disability

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Though it makes no effort to establish possible causes and some of its findings are ruled indeterminate, this recently published report shows the following: The rates of youth ADHD/ADD and learning disability diagnoses vary across racial, ethnic and sociodemographic lines.

The study found that twice as many white children are diagnosed with ADHD/ADD as Latino children – 7.2 percent of white children during a 1997-2006 study period, compared with 3.6 percent among Latinos – and that black children are diagnosed at a 5.7 percent rate. Learning disability diagnoses also vary, according to the report, but are skewed in a different direction. This time, black children showed the highest rates of diagnoses at 8.7 percent, while 8 percent of white children and 6.1 percent of Hispanic children were diagnosed with a learning disability.

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research and public policy organization focused on impacting people of color, also broke its research into sociodemographic variables such as family marital status and private insurance coverage status and poverty status.

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