Date of Conferral





Public Health


Katie Callahan-Myrick


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the most commonly diagnosed childhood neurobehavioral disorder, is increasing annually at about 5% per year. ADHD has been diagnosed in approximately 6.4 billion children in the U.S., and it is estimated that 66% of those afflicted have 1 or more comorbid conditions. Children with ADHD are often from socioeconomically challenged households. What is unclear from the literature is the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES), defined as education, employment, and income and the reporting of comorbidities with ADHD. The problem is that children with ADHD from low SES households may be reporting a higher prevalence of comorbid conditions, which can lead to misdiagnosis, improper treatment, and greater financial burden for families and the public health system. The purpose of this quantitative, descriptive, nonexperimental study was to examine the relationship between household SES and the reporting of a comorbidity (anxiety, depression, behavioral issues) in children with ADHD by analyzing secondary data from the National Survey of Children's Health (N = 99,677). Ecological systems theory guided this study which is based on the premise that individuals encounter many environments in their lives and these environments can impact health and well-being. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that parental education level, employment, and household income were significantly associated with the reporting of comorbidities for children with ADHD. This research may lead to positive social change by allowing resources to be allocated to low SES households of children with ADHD to decrease the number of children developing comorbid conditions.