ADHD in childhood may lead to financial struggles in adulthood

According to a study out of Florida International University, children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can expect meaningful real-world consequences when they become adults. Children with ADHD tend to lag behind their peers when they are younger, and this lag often continues well into adulthood. This occurs even if the symptoms of ADHD, including an inability to focus, impulse control issues, and hyperactivity, appear to have been controlled.

The Study

The study found that the consequences a child with ADHD may experience in adulthood will likely include financial struggles. The study tracked 364 adults aged 25 to 30 who had been diagnosed with ADHD as children and compared them to a control group of the same age. The study found that by age 30, individuals without ADHD were far more likely than those in the study with ADHD to have achieved the traditional markers of financial independence, including:

  • Homeownership—42% of those without ADHD owned homes compared to 22% of those with ADHD
  • Savings—the average savings for people without ADHD was $9,970 compared to $3,390 for those with ADHD
  • Living Outside of a Family Member’s Home—91 % of those without ADHD versus 70% of those with ADHD.

The study also found that individuals with ADHD earned 37% less than those who did not have an ADHD diagnosis. These income disparities are similar to those found in individuals with severe mental illness. Individuals with an ADHD diagnosis were also more likely to be on public assistance. Overall, study participants with a history of ADHD were projected to earn $1.27 million less than the control participants.

There were limitations to the study. The small number of participants made the results less reliable. In addition, a significant number of study participants had other behavior disorders, including conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. The study also did not look at participants older than 30 years.

Regardless of its limitations, the study does point to the fact that we need more educational support. People with ADHD should be taught life skills that may come more naturally to others. These include executive skills like planning and setting goals. These skills could better prepare them for handling their lives as adults.

If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disabilities. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.

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