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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and perceived mental health discrimination in adults in the general population

  • Andrew Stickley (a1) (a2), Mall Leinsalu (a2) (a3), Vladislav Ruchkin (a4) (a5), Hans Oh (a6), Zui Narita (a7) and Ai Koyanagi (a8) (a9)...

Abstract

Background:

The experience of discrimination is common in individuals with mental health problems and has been associated with a range of negative outcomes. As yet, however, there has been an absence of research on this phenomenon in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The current study examined the association between ADHD symptoms and mental health discrimination in the general adult population.

Methods:

The analytic sample comprised 7274 individuals aged 18 and above residing in private households in England that were drawn from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 2007. Information on ADHD was obtained with the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Screener. A single-item question was used to assess mental health discrimination experienced in the previous 12 months. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine associations.

Results:

The prevalence of discrimination increased as ADHD symptoms increased but was especially elevated in those with the most severe ADHD symptoms (ASRS score 18–24). In a multivariable logistic regression analysis that was adjusted for a variety of covariates including common mental disorders, ADHD symptoms (ASRS ≥ 14) were associated with almost 3 times higher odds for experiencing mental health discrimination (odds ratio: 2.81, 95% confidence interval: 1.49–5.31).

Conclusion:

ADHD symptoms are associated with higher odds for experiencing mental health discrimination and this association is especially elevated in those with the most severe ADHD symptoms. Interventions to inform the general public about ADHD may be important for reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with this disorder in adults.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author at: Stockholm Centre for Health and Social Change (SCOHOST), Södertörn University, Huddinge 141 89, Sweden. E-mail address: amstick66@gmail.com (A. Stickley).

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Keywords

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and perceived mental health discrimination in adults in the general population

  • Andrew Stickley (a1) (a2), Mall Leinsalu (a2) (a3), Vladislav Ruchkin (a4) (a5), Hans Oh (a6), Zui Narita (a7) and Ai Koyanagi (a8) (a9)...

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and perceived mental health discrimination in adults in the general population

  • Andrew Stickley (a1) (a2), Mall Leinsalu (a2) (a3), Vladislav Ruchkin (a4) (a5), Hans Oh (a6), Zui Narita (a7) and Ai Koyanagi (a8) (a9)...
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