ADHD Risk Factors
While no one knows exactly what causes attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, children with an inherited tendency toward behavioral or mood disorders appear to be at the greatest risk of developing it. In other words, ADHD tends to run in families.
Environmental factors, while they are not believed to cause ADHD, may contribute to the severity of symptoms and how they are manifest.
Risky factors for ADHD are believed to include:
- Exposure to toxins in utero
- Maternal use of cigarettes, alcohol or drugs during pregnancy
- Low birth weight
Children who have other certain other conditions may also be more likely to develop ADHD. These include:
- Learning disabilities
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Drug use
Other factors may include exposure to toxins (such as lead) during early childhood.
Stress, while not a cause of ADHD, may exacerbate symptoms.