Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fletcher wins prize for linking ADHD, labor outcomes


Jason Fletcher

La Follette School professor Jason M. Fletcher has won the 2013-2014 prize for the Best Research in Health & Society from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Fletcher won for his article "The Effects of Childhood ADHD on Adult Labor Market Outcomes" published in the journal Health Economics.

Fletcher's analysis of a longitudinal national sample is the first to provide the evidence of links between childhood ADHD symptoms and adult labor market outcomes. He finds that people with childhood attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are 10 to 14 percentage points more likely to be unemployed and to earn 33 percent less. They also are more likely to rely on social assistance.

"Educational attainments, and health conditions and behaviors explain a small share of the relationship," Fletcher says. "Also, the employment reductions seem to be concentrated among children from disadvantaged families. These findings, along with similar research showing that ADHD is linked with poor education outcomes and adult crime, suggest the importance of treating childhood ADHD to foster human capital."

The campus award calls attention to scholarship published by faculty and/or academic staff during calendar year 2013 that addresses aspects of population health or health and society, broadly defined, such as addressing the multiple determinants of health and their important interactions over the life course; examining the measurement, distribution, or experiences of health; or evaluating interventions (at individual, community, or policy levels) for their impact on population health outcomes.