Working Papers

ADHD Misidentification in School: Causes and Mitigators

Jill Furzer, Elizabeth Dhuey, Audrey Laporte

We estimate over- or under-identification of ADHD occurring in school-based behavioural assessments. To isolate teacher ADHD assessment error direction, we use primary school starting age and teacher-parent assessment residuals. Being young-for-grade or male generates some over-assessment. However, the under-assessment of the oldest students in a grade, especially the oldest females, drives the school starting age gap in ADHD identification. We link this gender breakdown to the growing gender gap in educational attainment. Importantly, teacher special education training mitigates these relative age-based assessment errors.

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Paper Keywords

ADHD, misdiagnosis, gender gaps, human capital, teacher training