The Effects of Medical Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on Children’s Academic Achievement

Research report

March 2015


Externally reviewed

Study Paper No. 83


Written by: Peter Fallesen Maria Keilow and Anders Holm


Children with ADHD leave lower secondary school with lower grades than other children do, and this disadvantages them in later life. This study, which is based on register data for all Danish children who sat the lower secondary school leaving examination during the period 2002-11, examines the extent to which children with ADHD did better in the exam if they had started regular medical treatment before taking it. Approximately ten percent of Danish children with ADHD who begin medical treatment either do not respond at all to their medication or experience serious side effects, with the result that the treatment is discontinued. The analysis compares the examination grades of the children whose treatment was stopped with those of children who continued regular medication, in order to establish the extent to which such regular treatment of ADHD can affect children’s examination results.

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