ADHD Girls at Greater Risk for Self-Injury – Hormone Related?

Leslie Carol Botha: Love what Catherine Pearson is doing in educating us about issues facing teenage girls.¬† What is grossly missing is menstrual cycle awareness and evaluation. I will bet my bottom dollar that the girl’s are premenstrual when they have higher rates of self-injury and suicide.¬† Most teenage girls experience the same self-destructive hormone-related cycle. Girls with ADHD already have frontal lobe and neurotransmitter communication issues that will only exacerbate imbalanced endocrine system functioning. Let’s chart their menstrual cycle for 30 to 60 days before we run off to put them on drugs to protect them from themselves.

Girls With ADHD Have Higher Rates Of Self-Injury: Study

Huff Post
August 16, 2012
by Catherine Pearson

Boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition characterized by difficulty paying attention and controlling behavior. But new research suggests that the consequences for girls with the disorder can be particularly serious.

Girls with ADHD have high rates of self-injury and attempts of suicide during their teenage years, a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found.

“We were floored by these findings,” said study author Stephen P. Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. “This rate of self-destructive behavior was shocking, and it shows that the longterm consequences of ADHD are not trivial.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5 million children aged 3 to 17 years had ADHD in 2010. According to the 2010 survey, 11 percent of boys had received an ADHD diagnosis, compared to about 6 percent of girls.

Hinshaw and his colleagues began looking at ADHD in females in the late 1990s, studying a group of 148 girls in the San Francisco area with the disorder who were between the ages of 6 and 12. For the just-published study, the researchers followed-up with 95 percent of the girls in that original group, now between the ages of 17 and 24. They checked on the girls’ behavior and academic progress, comparing them to a control group of women of the same age, without ADHD.

More than half of the girls with a sub-type of ADHD characterized by inattention as well as hyperactivity or impulsivity had engaged in some form of self-harm, such as cutting, burning or pulling out chunks of their hair.

In addition, approximately one-fifth of the girls with that sub-type of ADHD had attempted suicide. But girls whose ADHD was defined solely by inattention showed no increase in rates of self-injury or risk of suicide.

“This research emphasizes that parents of ADHD girls need to continue to be vigilant about their daughters’ well-being even after they graduate from high school,” said Steven Meyers, a professor of psychology at Roosevelt University and a clinical psychologist based in Chicago, who did not work on the study. “As children enter young adulthood and go off to college or find their first job, an early ADHD diagnosis can serve as a marker for risk and adversity.”

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.