Behavioral problems and Unconscious biases

There are often racial disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions for youth. 

Overall, the rates of Ohio’s children who have behavior or conduct problems is about the same as those who have ADD/ADHD. However, white children are more likely to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD while Black and Hispanic children are more likely to be labeld has having behavior problems.  

National studies have raised a concern that health providers’ unconscious biases may play a role in diagnostic decision-making, where disruptive behavior in children of color is attributed to behavior problems rather than a clinical disorder.

ADHD is treated with medications, therapy and other supportive services while behavioral problems are often treated with disciplinary actions, especially in school settings.

Ohio Children With Specific Health Conditions, by Race 2016-2017


National Survey on Children’s Health. Data is for Ohio.