Environmental factors that may influence attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Although there is no evidence that environmental factors cause ADHD, they may influence how the disorder is expressed. For example, although ADHD is not caused by "bad parenting," certain parenting techniques can improve or make worse some symptoms of the disorder. Environmental factors that may influence how ADHD is expressed include:1

  • Exposure to lead.
  • Exposure of a fetus to smoking or alcohol during pregnancy.


  1. National Institute of Mental Health (2003). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (NIH Publication No. 03-3572). Available online: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/adhd.cfm.

Last Updated: April 17, 2008

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