Stimulant and psychosocial treatment of ADHD in Latino/Hispanic children

José J. Bauermeister, Glorisa Canino, Milagros Bravo, Rafael Ramírez, Peter S. Jensen, Ligia Chavez, Alfonso Martínez-Taboas, Julio Ribera, Margarita Alegría, Pedro García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine to what extent Latino/Hispanic children with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are receiving treatment and to identify variables that predict treatment with stimulant medication. Method: Primary caretakers of a probability household sample (N = 1,897) of Puerto Rican children aged 4-17 years were administered structured interviews (response rate: 90.1%) from 1999-2000 to ascertain psychiatric disorders and types of services received. Results: Only 7.0% of children with ADHD received stimulant medication during the last year; moreover, only 3.6% had actually continued this treatment at the time of the interview. One fourth or less of those with ADHD received school-based services or psychosocial treatment. The male-female ratio in stimulant medication use was 10 to 1. In addition, only 0.2% of those with no psychiatric diagnosis received this treatment. ADHD and ADHD-not otherwise specified, impairment, and being male significantly predicted stimulant treatment. Conclusions: Children with ADHD in this Latino/Hispanic population are not receiving the most efficacious treatments based on scientific findings and relevant clinical consensus. This population is undertreated rather than overtreated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-855
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Gender
  • Latino/Hispanic
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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