Cultural Issues: Treating & Diagnosing ADHD

Noe Ramos, Ph.D.
John Lowdermilk, Ph.D.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley


ADHD refers to a diagnostic category applied to children exhibiting inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.  Approximately 1.2 to 2 million children are currently diagnosed with ADHD, making ADHD is considered to be the most common child psychiatric diagnosis in the United States. Public schools are constantly faced with the over-representation of students from minority populations in special education.  Children with ADHD may be protected by three federal statutes: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA). Given that minorities constitute approximately one-third of the public school population, the purpose of this paper is to obtain a better understanding of the role culture plays in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.  

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