New data from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show nearly one out of every five high school boys has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The data also show an overall 11 percent of American schoolchildren have received a diagnosis for the condition, which is characterized by difficulty paying attention and controlling impulsive behavior.
The New York Times reports the new numbers represent an increase in the prevalence of A.D.H.D. , which may fuel concerns that health professionals are over-using the diagnosis and overmedicating children as a result.
Diagnosis of A.D.H.D. is often accompanied by a prescription for stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall, drugs whose use has not been widely studied in children and teenagers.