ADHD Cases Surge in S. Korea Among Children and Adolescents: Data | Be Korea-savvy

ADHD Cases Surge in S. Korea Among Children and Adolescents: Data

ADHD is the most common mental disorder in children. (Yonhap)

ADHD is the most common mental disorder in children. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Aug. 15 (Korea Bizwire)The number of children and adolescents seeking medical attention for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in South Korea has surged over a four-year period, data showed Monday.

A total of 81,512 individuals aged 6 to 18 received treatment for ADHD in 2022, a significant increase of 82.2 percent compared to the statistics from 2018, according to the data by the National Health Insurance Service.

In contrast, there were 109,700 students receiving special education support registered with educational authorities as of April.

It’s important to note that the actual number of children and adolescents grappling with ADHD is likely to be higher.

This is particularly true since frontline teachers have observed that parents frequently refrain from pursuing medical intervention or counseling, often attributing their child’s behavior to mere distraction.

The medical community does not view this upsurge in ADHD cases as inherently negative.

“Globally, the diagnosis of ADHD in children and adolescents is on the rise,” said Kim Johanna In-hyang, a psychiatry professor at Hanyang University Hospital.

“However, the diagnostic criteria remain unchanged, suggesting that the increase is more likely a result of heightened awareness of the condition rather than a rise in its prevalence.”

Nonetheless, educators have pointed out that educational authorities lack a comprehensive ADHD behavioral response manual or effective support measures.

Consequently, teachers face challenges in seeking parental cooperation for counseling and treatment, leading to a situation where individual teachers are increasingly tasked with guiding the growing population of students with ADHD.

Ashley Song (

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