Socioeconomic disparities in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Sweden: An intersectional ecological niches analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy (IEN-AIHDA)

Christoffer Hornborg, Rebecca Axrud, Raquel Pérez Vicente, Juan Merlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We aimed (i) to gain a better understanding of the demographic and socioeconomical distribution of ADHD risk in Sweden; and (ii) to contribute to the critical discussion on medicalization, i.e., the tendency to define and treat behavioural and social problems as medical entities. For this purpose, we analysed the risk of suffering from ADHD in the whole Swedish population aged between 5 and 60 years, across 96 different strata defined by combining categories of gender, age, income, and country of birth. The stratified analysis evidenced considerable risk heterogeneity, with prevalence values ranging from 0.03% in high income immigrant women aged 50-59, to 6.18% in middle income immigrant boys aged 10-14. Our study questions the established idea that behavioural difficulties conceptualized as ADHD should be primarily perceived as a neurological abnormality. Rather, our findings suggest that there is a strong sociological component behind how some individuals become impaired and subject to medicalization.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0294741
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume18
Issue number11 November
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Nov

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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