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HOWARD UNIVERSITY HEALTHY KIDZ ADHD RESEARCH STUDY

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Did you know 10-12% of children have a diagnosis of ADHD worldwide and the annual cost for supporting this condition in the United States exceeds the multi-billion dollar mark annually? ADHD is of special interest to Howard University because these statistics are particularly relevant to minorities, families of low social economic status (SES), and children of military parents. While health disparities, revealed in the form of limitations to quality healthcare and various resources, are disproportionately experienced by minority or low SES populations, it is equally critical to acknowledge that Service members and their dependents are embedded in a culture that entails its own unique tribulations (i.e., deployments, separations, relocation, etc.). Therefore, Howard University’s ADHD/Clinical Sleep lab is wholeheartedly embracing the undertaking of telling the diversified story of everyday Americans who endure this disorder. Regardless of one’s encounter with health disparities or other circumstances, the need for relief is a common theme. Conceivably, one critical goal of this project is to ensure representation of those within the community that rarely have a voice in most studies.

 

Research informs ADHD tends to impact the same areas in the brain that regulates sleep (amygdala, thalamus, basal ganglia) and that 50-70% of parents report problems with their children’s sleep. Beyond economical costs, these families are more likely to endure elevated stress, and significant problems in their family relationships. Restful sleep is vital to a myriad of biological processes, as well as one’s behaviors and cognitive functioning. People of all ages need the recommended hours of quality sleep for their respective age, particularly, children (Vance et. al., 2010; Miller-Horn et. al., 2008; Rietz, 1997; Weiss & Salpekar, 2010; Bullock & Schall, 2005). Compromises in sleep can equate to compromised resilience within the family, directly and indirectly correlating to medical and mental health concerns.  For these reasons (and others), we are comparing the sleep quality and sleep quantity of children without ADHD to children who have the diagnosis and are taking medication for it either every day or only during the school week, or not taking medication at all. Similarly, we are examining sleep behaviors and parental distress between these four groups (unmedicated, continuously medicated, and partially-medicated children with ADHD, and children who do not have ADHD). We invite parents of youths between the ages of 6 and 11 to join us in improving the quality of life for ADHD-diagnosed children and their families. This study is creating a platform to share new findings worldwide while extending the opportunity for diverse participation across the nation.  Visit the HU Healthy Kidz ADHD Research study website for more information:   https://ADHDResearch4HowardUniversity.org

 

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Contact: Naline Walker;  Email: prince_georges@chadd.org

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CHADD AFFILIATE: Prince George’s County Parent Support Group