Violence at Home and ADHD

Is there a connection?
Lead study author: Dr. Nerissa Bauer, assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine.

Read full article:
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics found that children exposed to domestic violence or maternal depression may increase the risk of developing ADHD.

Indiana University School of Medicine researchers examined data from a population of more than 2,000 children. They discovered a link between parents who had reported depression or intimate partner violence and a significantly greater likelihood of their children suffering from ADHD as they grew older.

“It wasn’t surprising, from the lens of me being a behavioral pediatrician,” said Dr. Nerissa Bauer, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and the lead study author. “I routinely encounter mental health and behavioral problems in children, and this supports my initial hunch that I was seeing an increase in that.”

Previous research has demonstrated the same links as the Indiana study. Trauma, whether it is psychological or physical will reshape the brain especially in an area known as the hippocampus which serves as a center for memory and learning. The reshaping or pruning of the hippocampus when exposed to trauma may be a biological trigger to other problems such as ADHD, sleep disorders, etc.