Children of Divorce Prescribed Ritalin Twice as Often

A new study appearing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reports that children are twice as likely to be prescribed Ritalin after their parents divorce.

According to Mind Hacks, Ritalin is the trade name for the amphetamine-like drug methylphenidate. It is typically prescribed for ADHD, a diagnosis which describes problems with staying focused, impulsiveness and / or hyperactivity.

The full study can be read here.

As questioned in the Earthquake in Zipland blog,  “Is it possible that divorce acts as a stressful life event that creates adjustment problems for children, which might increase acting out behavior, leading to a prescription for Ritalin?”

Could another reason be that children of divorce are more likely to be studied and observed more than children from intact families? Children of divorce are routinely given the opportunity to work out their issues with mental health professionals. For this reason, I am certain that the percentage of children in therapy is highest among children from broken homes.  Could this then account for the greater number of diagnoses and prescriptions?

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