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ADD & ADHD Center

Symptoms of ADD in Adolescent Males

author image Michelle Bolyn
Michelle Bolyn is a licensed mental health professional and has worked since 2006 as a therapist. Bolyn has been writing mental health, wedding-related and relationship focused articles since 2007. She is published on Suite101.com and Examiner.com. Bolyn received her master's degree in social work from New York University.
Symptoms of ADD in Adolescent Males
Take notice of symptoms of ADHD in adolescent males. Photo Credit amazingmikael/iStock/Getty Images


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that presents itself in childhood; however, children can go undiagnosed and untreated for many years. Many people wonder about the difference between ADD, attention-deficit disorder, and ADHD. Mental health professionals used to refer to the disorder as ADD, and now they refer to the disorder as ADHD to reflect the significance of hyperactivity in this disorder. Many people who are not in the mental health field continue to refer to the disorder as ADD.

Adolescent males with this disorder have three main symptoms, which include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. A teenage boy with this disorder struggles with those three things more than the average teen and is affected at school and at home.


Many adolescent males have a hard time focusing in school and would rather be flirting with the girl next to them in science class than concentrating on the quiz or playing video games instead of doing homework. Teen boys who struggle with this disorder find it extremely difficult to stay focused on tasks they consider boring or don’t hold their interest. They make careless mistakes, don’t follow through on homework and chores, and lose things on a regular basis. A teen boy with this mental health issue probably has a disorganized room, locker and backpack, which cause him to misplace things such as his keys, cell phone and homework.

An adolescent male who has ADD/ADHD is probably forgetful about things. He might forget he’s supposed to go to a doctor’s appointment after school and goes skateboarding with his friends, or doesn’t remember he has an upcoming history test and never studies. This can lead to constant arguments at home and poor or failing grades.

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Teen boys with ADD/ADHD have a hard time sitting still and focusing all day at school; however, that’s exactly what they’re expected to do. Without an outlet for their pent up energy, they might talk back to teachers, become irritable and get into physical fights with peers. If they haven’t received treatment for the mental health issue, they might get detention or get suspended more often than their peers.

Some adolescent males with ADD/ADHD find a good way to deal with their pent up energy by playing sports and being active on a regular basis. A teen boy who needs to deal with his stress and energy by playing basketball with friends, practicing after school every day for soccer or joining the football team might have ADD/ADHD, but he’s learned how to cope with it in healthy ways.


Teens are known for making impulsive decisions; however, adolescent males with ADD/ADHD have an even harder time than their peers reigning in their impulses. This makes it more likely that they’ll do things without thinking about it first. For instance, a teen boy with ADD/ADHD might try drugs with his friends before thinking about the consequences or have unprotected sex without considering that he might get a sexually transmitted disease or become a father.

In school, a teen boy with this disorder is likely to blurt out answers and interrupt his peers and teachers. He might have a hard time making or keeping friends due to socially inappropriate behavior.

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