Aims: To test the hypothesis that psychosocial adversity in the family predicts medicated ADHD in school children.
Method: ADHD-medication during 2006 was identified in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register in national birth cohorts of 1.1 million 6-19 year olds. Logistic regression models adjusted for parental psychiatric disorders were used to test our hypothesis.
Results: There was a clear gradient for ADHD medication with level of maternal education, with an adjusted odds ratio of 2.20 (2.04-2.38) for the lowest compared with the highest level. Lone parenthood and reception of social welfare also implied higher risks of ADHD-medication with adjusted ORs of 1.45 (1.38-1.52) and 2.06 (1.92-2.21) respectively. Low maternal education predicted 33% of cases with medicated ADHD and single parenthood 14%.
Conclusions: Social adversity in the family predicts a considerable proportion of ADHD-medication in school children in Sweden.