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PLoS One. 2018 Nov 29;13(11):e0207905. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207905. eCollection 2018.

Medical treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and children's academic performance.

Author information

1
Department of Education, VIVE-The Danish Center for Social Science Research, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2
Mindhood-Child Mental Health Research Program, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
3
Department of Sociology, Western University, London, Canada.
4
The ROCKWOOL Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark.
5
The Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is negatively associated with a range of academic achievement measures. We use Danish administrative register data to study the impact of medical treatment of ADHD on children's academic performance assessed by student grade point average (GPA). Using administrative register data on children, who begin medical treatment, we conduct a natural experiment and exploit plausible exogenous variation in medical nonresponse to estimate the effect of medical treatment on school-leaving GPA. We find significant effects of treatment on both exam and teacher evaluated GPAs: Compared to consistent treatment, part or full discontinuation of treatment has large significant negative effects reducing teacher evaluation and exam GPA with .18 and .22 standard deviations, respectively. The results demonstrate that medical treatment may mitigate the negative social consequences of ADHD. Placebo regressions indicate that a causal interpretation of our findings is plausible.

PMID:
30496240
PMCID:
PMC6264851
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0207905
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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