Children born to teenage parents have a higher risk of getting ADHD, a large study suggests. The researchers looked at info on more than 50,000 people in Finland. They found that having one parent younger than 20 raised the risk for childhood ADHD by about 50%.
Children born to two parents younger than 20 had an even higher risk.
The study was published online by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The researchers took into account a number of things, including the parents’ psychiatric history, the mother’s social and economic status, marital status, whether or not the mother smoked while pregnant, number of previous births, and birth weight.
Interestingly, when mothers were older than 29, that was tied to a drop in ADHD risk among children. Children of young parents may also be exposed to a large number of social and economic risk factors.
“I think it’s a mix of both,” Researcher says. “It’s both the inherited genetic risk and, among those who are susceptible, additional environmental factors. That’s what
we believe triggers the development of ADHD.”