Children of divorced parents are nearly twice as likely as other children to be prescribed Ritalin, says a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Researchers found that 6.1 percent of 633 Canadian children of divorced parents were prescribed Ritalin, compared with 3.3 percent of 4 151 children whose parents were still married, the Canadian Press reported.
Study author Lisa Strohschein of the University of Alberta said there may be a number of reasons why Ritalin use is higher among children of divorced parents.
The stress of divorce may aggravate a child's existing ADHD-related behavioural problems to the point where a doctor decides that Ritalin may be helpful. In other cases, children of divorced parents may channel their anger, anxiety and sadness into behaviour that's mislabelled as ADHD-like.
In some situations, Strohschein said, parents and doctors may give Ritalin to children in anticipation of behavioural problems that may be caused by the stress of divorce, the CP reported. – (HealthDayNews)
Ritalin debate flares up
How Ritalin tweaks the brain