UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Gender differences in adults with ADHD : a narrative review Williamson, David Kenneth; Johnston, Charlotte


Certain characteristics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children have long been known to differ by gender. What has not been as widely studied is whether gender is similarly associated with ADHD differences in adults. In this review, the relation between gender and adult ADHD prevalence, persistence, impairment, comorbidity, cognitive functioning, and treatment response was examined across 73 studies. Although gender was related to several characteristics and correlates of adult ADHD, it appeared that many of these gender differences may be at least be partially attributed to methodological artifacts or social and cultural influences, rather than fundamental differences in the expression of ADHD in men and women. We highlight how understanding the nature of the relation between gender and ADHD across the lifespan is complicated by a number of methodological difficulties, and offer recommendations for how emerging research and clinical practice can better incorporate gender into the conceptualization of ADHD in adulthood.

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