Effects of child gender and symptom type on referrals for ADHD by elementary school teachers

  • Sciutto M
  • Nolfi C
  • Bluhm C
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Abstract

In this study, the authors investigated the effects of child gender and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptom type on elementary school teachers' referral decisions. Participants (N =199) read a profile of a fictional child's academic record and rated the likelihood of referring the child for an evaluation. The profiles varied by the child's gender and the type of symptoms the child was exhibiting (inattention, hyperactivity, or hyperactivity plus aggression). Results indicated that teachers were more likely to refer boys than girls, regardless of symptom type, but that the largest gender difference in referrals was for children who exhibited hyperactivity without inattention or aggression. These results suggest that differences in teacher perceptions of boys' and girls' behaviors may contribute to gender differences in ADHD referrals.

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Authors

  • Mark J. Sciutto

  • Cara J. Nolfi

  • Carla Bluhm

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