The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied the prevalence of mental health disorders in US children to evaluate the frequency of the disorders and the needs of the children affected by these disorders. The results showed that ADHD was the most commonly diagnosed childhood mental health disorder with almost 7% of children aged from 3 to 17 having an ADHD diagnosis. 

More US children were diagnosed with ADHD, behavioral problems and anxiety and depression than an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The report noted that no demographic group was unaffected by a mental health disorder but some disorders were more prevalent in different groups.  For example, boys were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and ASD than girls.  Additionally, children from poor families were more likely to have ADHD and behavioral problems.

The authors emphasized the importance of collecting this type of data about children so that resources can be targeted where they are most needed.The report is published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and can be found at

©Mary M Conneely T/A Advocacy in Action

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