Ep. 99: Straight Talk About ADHD in Girls with Dr. Stephen Hinshaw

Sep 20, 2022 | 0 comments

We’ve discussed ADHD on the podcast before and it continues to be an important topic. But something we haven’t delved into yet is what ADHD looks like in girls. Dr. Stephen Hinshaw has conducted years of research including a longitudinal study on girls with ADHD and his findings are not only fascinating but important to consider especially if you are the parent of a daughter with ADHD.

Dr. Hinshaw has recently written a book called Straight Talk About ADHD in Girls: How to Help Your Daughter Thrive. Parenting a daughter with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is no easy path, especially because of the myth that the disorder is rare or nonexistent in girls. In his book, Dr. Hinshaw provides vital information and advice to help you understand and meet your daughter’s needs. And in this episode, he does the same. He delivers up-to-date facts on what ADHD is, why symptoms often appear differently in girls than in boys, why girls with ADHD behave the way they do, how to get an accurate diagnosis, and what treatments are most effective.

There is so much pressure on girls to be perfect and for those with ADHD, it feels especially hard to measure up. The social stigmas and academic challenges ADHD present to girls is often isolating and painful. So listen to Dr. Hinshaw explain the science behind it all and what we can do as parents and educators to help our girls with ADHD.


Show Notes:

[2:22] – ADHD is more prevalent in boys than girls, but why?

[3:23] – Because of the difference in development, symptoms of ADHD in girls are often overlooked.

[4:27] – Girls with ADHD tend to show their symptoms differently. Many don’t get diagnosed until they are teenagers or even young adults.

[5:28] – ADHD causes problems with the self-regulation of attention.

[6:30] – It takes some time to observe and diagnose ADHD.

[7:16] – Some girls may show their hyperactivity verbally instead of physically.

[8:43] – Dr. Hinshaw conducted the largest longitudinal study on girls with ADHD.

[9:37] – In childhood, girls with ADHD are just as impaired as boys. Socially, they tend to get rejected by their peers more so than boys.

[11:26] – Dr. Hinshaw shares the differences in the larger consequences like delinquency, substance use, and mental health.

[13:34] – ADHD increases the risk of self harm and suicide.

[15:08] – Low self-esteem, difficult peer relationships, increasing academic struggles, make things challenging in young adulthood too.

[17:01] – Across many studies and types of research, both males and females and the differences between them are not taken into consideration.

[18:54] – There can be more severe social consequences of lack of early intervention for girls.

[21:39] – There are consistent inconsistencies.

[23:00] – Milder conditions or conditions that don’t have as many outward indicators, result in more stigma.

[24:52] – If you are the parent of a girl who has ADHD with a solid diagnosis, you have to show radical acceptance and commitment.
[26:33] – Motivation, regulation, and even medication are things to be considered.

[27:28] – What are your daughter’s strengths?

[28:31] – One valued and strong friendship can offset the social complications they experience.

[29:45] – Research has shown that parents of girls with ADHD tend to have much more parental stress. Parent management training is beneficial.

[31:19] – Get Dr. Hinshaw’s book for 20% off using this special Diverse Thinking Different Learning discount code: 1F2017


About Our Guest:

Stephen P. Hinshaw is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC San Francisco. His work focuses on developmental psychopathology, child and adolescent mental health (particularly ADHD), and the use of clinical trials to understand underlying mechanisms. He also actively investigates mental illness stigma and interventions to reduce it. Hinshaw has authored over 400 articles, chapters, and commentaries plus 13 books. He has won numerous national and international research awards, including the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science, the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the National Academy of Medicine. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021. His extensive media coverage includes the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Today Show, CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, and many more. 


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.