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Causes of ADHD: Does ADHD run in the family?

Does ADHD run in the family? Short answer: Not always, but often.

image Research has found that ADHD tends to have a very strong genetic component – one particular study concluded that genetics account for 70-80% of cases, with the other 20-30% being attributed to environmental factors. To give you perspective, 60-80% of the difference in height is accounted for by genes, with 20-40% attributed to environmental effects. Springboard Clinic’s sweeping generalization from this: ADHD  might just be more heritable than height.

This means that if you have an ADHD diagnosis, it is likely that others in your family share similar traits. We here at Springboard Clinic often see this in action when a parent recognizes ADHD signs and symptoms in themselves as they go through an assessment process for their child (or vice versa!).

To be fair, the genetic factor does not automatically mean that you are going to have ADHD. As this article about the genetics of ADHD states, “an individual’s genetic make-up is neither sufficient nor necessary to cause it, but may increase their overall risk.”

So, if for example, you have two children, and one is diagnosed with ADHD, their sibling may be at risk, but will not necessarily end up having ADHD. The key is to just be aware of the potential link and keep an eye out for any red flags.

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