The Connection Between ADHD and Bullying

Posted February 4, 2008 by

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The February issue of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology features a study that says kids with ADHD are more likely to be bullied at school–or to actually be bullies themselves.

Researchers followed 577 Swedish fourth graders for one year, with nearly 10 percent of the boys and 1.6 percent of the girls being diagnosed with ADHD. Kids with the disorder were 4 times as likely to be bullies, and 10 times as likely as their peers to be picked on at school–even before the ADHD was diagnosed.

It’s true that kids with the impulsive or combined type of AD/HD are more likely to be the bully, but not always. The inattentive types are prime targets for being bullied, though the other two types may also find themselves on the receiving end. Impulsivity and poor attention makes it difficult for kids to learn social skills and anger management which often also leads to low self-esteem. While most kids pick-up these skills on their own, kids with AD/HD need specific instruction and practice. This is why it is so important for kids to receive psychological & behavioral interventions as a key component of their treatment program.


Dr Robert Myers is a child psychologist with more than 25 years of experience working with children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and learning disabilities and is the creator of the Total Focus Program. Dr Myers is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine. "Dr Bob" has provided practical information for parents as a radio talk show host and as editor of Child Development Institute's website, which reaches 3 million parents each year. Dr. Myers earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

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