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  • mdjeffrey

ADHD Research

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

It is a mystery why ADHD rates differ wildly between states in the continental United States. ADHD rates range from a low of 4.2% in Nevada to a high of 14.8% in Kentucky. To this day, the exact reason for this discrepancy is a matter of much speculation. While writing a research paper on ADHD, I happened to see the ADHD diagnosis distribution map on the CDC's website. My curiosity was piqued, so I decided to tackle this question myself by doing quantitative analyses of ADHD data sets using SPSS.

I performed statistical regressions of ADHD data from the CDC against the usual suspects of health predictors such as income and educational demographics (see slideshow below for a detailed analysis of my methodology). Due to the speculative nature of the subject matter, my approach was more or less a shot in the dark to see if I could find anything interesting.

Most of the variables that I analyzed with statistical regression either failed significance testing or lost their statistical significance after controlling for other variables. However, I had an unexpected finding that exposure to toxins from cigarette smoke may be a viable culprit in explaining at least part of the variance in ADHD diagnosis rates between states. I converted these findings into conference presentations that I presented at the Mid-South Sociologic Conference as well as the Pacific Sociological Conference.

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