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ADHD May Raise Girls' Risk for Suicide as Young Adults
Date:8/17/2012

uicide attempts and self-injury. The researchers also assessed their academic achievement and neuropsychological functioning.

The study revealed that 22 percent of the girls with ADHD-combined attempted suicide at least once in the 10 years after they were diagnosed, while 8 percent of the girls with ADHD-inattentive and 6 percent of the girls who did not have ADHD did the same.

Girls in the ADHD-combined group also were much more likely to hurt themselves. The researchers found 51 percent admitted to scratching, cutting, burning or hitting themselves. In comparison, only 19 percent of the girls without ADHD and 29 percent of those with ADHD-inattentive injured themselves.

The researchers noted there were no differences in substance abuse across the three groups of girls.

"ADHD in girls and women carries a particularly high risk of internalizing, even self-harmful behavior patterns," Hinshaw said. "We know that girls with ADHD-combined are more likely to be impulsive and have less control over their actions, which could help explain these distressing findings."

Although the research found an association between ADHD and increased suicide risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on ADHD.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American Psychological Association, news release, Aug. 14, 2012.


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