Girls with ADHD more wayward than boys

Girls with symptoms of ADHD are more likely to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs as teenagers than are boys with the same symptoms, according to a study of 1545 Finnish adolescents. 

Parents and classroom teachers used standardised rating scales to assess the participants for ADHD symptoms when they were 11–12 years. They were then followed up when they were 14 and 17.5 years and assessed for alcohol- and substance-use disorders, and psychiatric comorbidities. While baseline ADHD symptoms were less common among girls than boys, they were more predictive of adverse substance-use outcomes. 

In girls, ADHD symptoms were significant predictors of alcohol abuse and dependence, and illicit drug use at age 14. This was not true in boys. 

By 17.5 years, inattentiveness and hyperactivity were significant predictors for frequent alcohol use in both sexes, but they were more predictive in girls. 

Psychological Medicine;

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