Gender and ethnicity referral bias for ADHD: the school's view



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Texas A&M University


In school, all children at some time have been disruptive; however, there are a select few who are continually disruptive and identified by school personnel as those who may have a disruptive behavior disorder such as ADHD. Many times these children are boys and of a minority group (Root & Resnick, 2003). Information collected from school teachers and parents most often provides the basis for diagnosing ADHD, whether reliable or objective. The purpose of the study was to investigate any differences in the way in which teachers respond to behavioral difficulties associated with ADHD for African American girls and boys as compared to White girls and boys, with control for SES and perceived school climate as potential confounds. These results are promising in that teachers?????? responses suggest similarity in perceptions of children??????s behavior regardless of children??????s socioeconomic status, gender and ethnicity. The results indicated that a significant difference exists in that teachers would talk to the counselor about the child??????s behavior based on the child??????s ethnicity, gender, and SES. When controlling for school climate, there was a significant difference in teacher responses to unusualness of inattention, which indicated that the better the school climate, the more unusual the inattention was perceived. Also, results indicated that the teacher??????s ethnicity and/or ethnicity and gender affected how they perceived the child??????s behavior.