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Developmental Pathways

Symptoms of ADHD may be exhibited differently depending on a child's age and gender.

In young childhood, ADHD symptoms usually include excessive motor activity. In the school setting, students may experience greater difficulty with sitting still and attending to a particular task for an extended amount of time. By late adolescence and adulthood, the excessive motor activity descreases and stabilize.

Some research has also suggested a difference in symptom presentation among boys and girls. Girls are undiagnosed at a higher rate than boys because their symptoms are not viewed by parents and others as troublesome. For example, girls are less rebelious, less defiant, and more compliant than boys. Boys usually exhibit externalizing behaviors which include those that are directed at others. These behaviors may include hitting, yelling, biting, and other physical aggression. Girls tend to exhibit more internalizing behaviors, which are behaviors that are directed toward the self. These may include anxiety, depression, and excessive shyness.

 

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