Xianming Carroll has completed her MPH and PhD from Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany. She is Research Assistant Professor at Mercer University School of Medicine in the US. She has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and has been serving as an Editorial Reviewer of journal Plos One.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, affecting an estimated 5 to 12% of school-aged children worldwide. Approximate 15 to 19 million Chinese children suffer from ADHD. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between family-environmental factors and ADHD in a sample of Chinese children. A pair-matched, case-control study was conducted with 161 ADHD children and 161non-ADHD children of matching age and sex, all from 5-18 years of age. The ADHD subjects and the normal controls were all evaluated via structured diagnostic interviews. We examined the association between family-environmental factors and ADHD using the conditional multiple logistic regression with backward stepwise selection to predict the associated factors of ADHD. Having experienced emotional abuse and being a single child were both significant factors associated with children diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD subjects were more likely to have suffered from emotional abuse (OR=11.09, 95% CI=2.15-57.29, P=0.004) and have been a single child in the family (OR=6.32, 95% CI=2.09-19.14, P=0.001) when compared to normal controls. The results were not modified by other confounding factors. Our findings provide evidence that family-environmental factors are associated with ADHD among children in China. These findings, if confirmed by future research, may help to decrease ADHD by increasing the awareness of the effects of childhood emotional abuse.

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