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New Study: Girls Growing Up with ADHD

This study from the National Centre for Mental Health aims to identify behaviours linked to ADHD that are more common in girls and young women in order to inform the development of a new, gender-inclusive ADHD assessment tool for primary school children.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects about 1 in 20 young people. The primary symptoms of ADHD include age-inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that interfere with daily functioning.

Girls and young women often miss out on early support for an ADHD diagnosis, which in turn could lead to the development of mental ill-health.

This is because girls and young women are less likely to receive a diagnosis, which may be due to a difference in symptoms seen between genders. As a result, many do not receive a diagnosis until adulthood.

There is an urgent need to better understand the experiences and presentation of ADHD in girls and young women.

This will allow ADHD to be identified in girls and young women at an earlier age leading to quicker access to support.

Earlier support, including the recognition of ADHD in girls and young women, and access to treatment, is needed to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people with ADHD.

 “It is important for researchers to hear directly from individuals with lived experiences of ADHD, as well as parents and professionals who support young people diagnosed with ADHD, to better understand how we can work towards improving ADHD services for young people,” commented Project Lead Dr Joanna Martin.

This study, funded by Health and Care Research Wales aims to investigate the presentation and ADHD in girls and young women.

Take part

We are currently recruiting individuals living in Wales or the wider UK, who are:

  • Young women with an ADHD diagnosis (ages 18-25)
  • Parents and carers of girls diagnosed with ADHD
  • Educational and healthcare professionals with experience of working with girls with ADHD

What does taking part in the study involve?

  • Young adults will take part in a 1:1 interview lasting 30-60 minutes
  • Parents/carers and professionals will take part in a focus group lasting 90 minutes
  • Interviews and focus groups will involve questions and discussion about how ADHD presents in girls and lived experiences of growing up with ADHD or caring for a young person with ADHD

Further information about the study can be found on our study page

Please note: Due to an overwhelming response we have now closed this survey for young people. If you are a parent/ carer or healthcare/education professional we’d still like to hear from you.


NCMH | Conditions we study – ADHD

Tamara Williams
Tamara Williams is a Research Assistant working at The
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National Centre for Mental Health, Cardiff University, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ

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