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Study: Race Impacts Ratings of ADHD Behavior in Black Boys

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December 11, 2019White teachers are more likely to attribute a Black boy’s behavior to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to rate those behaviors as severe than are Black parents, according to a new study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology1.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, demonstrated that White teachers are more likely to ascribe Black boys’ behavior to ADHD and to assign them higher scores on the Vanderbilt Assessment Scale for ADHD than are Black parents.

What’s more, White teachers with negative racial attitudes, as measured by questions included in the study, were more likely to assign even higher ADHD probability ratings to Black boys.Study participants — 71 Black parents, 60 White teachers, and 65 White parents — were shown 11 one-minute video clips of anonymous boys and girls of different ethnicities in their preschool, kindergarten, second grade, and third grade classrooms.

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