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Gender Differences in Adults with ADHD

Ashely Schiros, Andrew S. London, Kevin M. Antshel

Clinical Handbook of ADHD Assessment and Treatment Across the Lifespan, November 2023

Andrew S. London

Andrew S. London

Gender differences in adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be found in the core symptoms of ADHD, rates of comorbidities, and features associated with the disorder. ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders, yet conjecture exists over the prevalence and phenotypic profile of symptoms in girls and women. 

ADHD in adulthood is similar to ADHD in childhood, yet distinctions can be found in the wider reaching domains of impairment seen in adults, compared to children, with ADHD. Inattentive symptoms are typically more impairing than impulsive/hyperactive symptoms among adults with ADHD, and women with ADHD, in particular, may find these inattentive symptoms more impairing in their social relationships and during motherhood.

With these noted areas of difficulty in adult ADHD, gender considerations must be made with regard to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD in adulthood.