New Haven, Conn. (CBS CONNECTICUT) — Children who are diagnosed with ADHD have an increased probability of earning less money and working less as adults.

According to a study from Yale School of Public Health professor Jason Fletcher, young people diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are about 10 to 14 percentage points less likely to be employed. If they do have a job, they earn about 33 percent less income.

The study tracked 15,000 Americans from their teens to the age of 30 to examine the consequences of ADHD on children as they age. Fletcher argues that treatment of ADHD symptoms should be diagnosed early to prevent problems later in life.

The Mayo Clinic defines ADHD as, “A chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. ADHD includes some combination of problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD also may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school.”

Many cultural and demographic differences also factored into the decrease in financial earnings and employment among members of the study.

Employment and wages were hit hardest among Hispanic and African-American children diagnosed with the disorder. Diagnosed African-Americans earned nearly 47 percent less in wages than the median U.S. income and Hispanics earned almost 38 percent less than the average American. Whites diagnosed with the disorder saw a decrease of 26 percent from the national average.

Hispanics diagnosed with ADHD were 17 percent less likely to be employed later in life, African-Americans were 14 percent less likely and whites saw a nine percent decline.

Females also saw a greater decline in wage and employment success in comparison to men.

The study notes that data was collected on students who were young children in the 1980s, a time when ADHD diagnosis was less common, and prescription drugs for treatment were more restricted.

Professor Fletcher released a study in July that found depressed teens earned 20 percent less later in their lives.


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