Sporty young girls show fewer signs of ADHD later on

20 November 2020

Girls who play regular extracurricular sports between six and 10 show fewer symptoms of ADHD aged 12 than girls who don’t play, a study has found.

The research, published in Preventive Medicine, found no such benefit of regular organised sports for boys. This is possibly because ADHD is more likely to be spotted and treated more quickly in boys.

The study looked at data from a Quebec cohort of children born in 1997 and 1998. Parents reported whether their children were in an extracurricular physical activity that required a coach or instructor.

Lead author Linda Pagani said of the findings: ‘Sports activities in early childhood can help girls develop essential social skills that will be useful later and ultimately play a key role in their personal, financial and economic success.’