School Mental Health

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 169–177 | Cite as

The Estimated Annual Cost of ADHD to the US Education System

  • Jessica A. Robb
  • Margaret H. Sibley
  • William E. PelhamJrEmail author
  • E. Michael Foster
  • Brooke S. G. Molina
  • Elizabeth M. Gnagy
  • Aparajita B. Kuriyan
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to examine and monetize the educational outcomes of students with ADHD. Data were examined from the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study, a follow-up study of children diagnosed with ADHD in childhood and recontacted for follow-up in adolescence and young adulthood. A comprehensive educational history was obtained for all participants from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Annual economic impact was derived from costs incurred through special education placement, grade retention, and disciplinary incidents. Results indicated that, as compared to students without ADHD, students with ADHD incurred a higher annual cost to the US Education system. Specifically, a student with ADHD incurred an average annual incremental cost to society of $5,007, as compared with $318 for students in the comparison group. These results suggest that prevention and intervention strategies are greatly needed to offset the large financial impact of educating youth with ADHD.


ADHD Education Cost of illness 



This study was supported by grants DA12414, DA05605, F31 DA017546 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and additionally, AA11873 from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Research was also supported in part by AA00202, AA08746, AA12342, AA0626, and grants from the National Institute on Mental Health (MH12010, MH4815, MH47390, MH45576, MH50467, MH53554, MH069614), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (ES0515-08), and Institute of Education Sciences (IESLO3000665A, IESR324B060045).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica A. Robb
    • 1
  • Margaret H. Sibley
    • 1
    • 2
  • William E. PelhamJr
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Michael Foster
    • 3
  • Brooke S. G. Molina
    • 4
  • Elizabeth M. Gnagy
    • 1
  • Aparajita B. Kuriyan
    • 1
  1. 1.FIU Center for Children and Families, Department of PsychologyFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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