Does the age of a child in a classroom setting matter when discussing ADHD? In late September, Reuters published an article reviewing a study that found children who are younger in the classroom are more likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities, depression, and ADHD than older students in the classroom.
Researchers in this study examined school enrollment data and electronic health records of more than 1 million students ages 4-15 in the U.K. The students’ ages were calculated based on their date of birth and the cut off of school enrollment of where they lived.
The study found that children whose birthdays were within the final three months before the enrollment cut off were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with an intellectual disability, depression, or ADHD.
Researchers believe the following factors helped lead to increased diagnoses:
- Younger children may have more difficulty concentrating in class
- Inferior academic performance
- Poor peer relationships
Within the study, younger students were found to have been diagnosed with ADHD 36% more often than older students. However, it is not surprising that there was an increasing trend in depression diagnoses as well. Often ADHD, depression, and anxiety do coexist.