Did you know that women hold just 30% of tenured or tenure-track positions in STEM fields (according to a report from the National Science Foundation)?
Despite the progress that has been made towards gender equality in recent years, women are still underrepresented in many fields, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This underrepresentation is particularly acute in research, where women face a variety of challenges that can make it difficult to succeed and advance in their careers. Despite these challenges, there are many women who are making important contributions to scientific research.
ADHD is a complex condition that affects many people, and the scientific community is constantly working to better understand it. In this blog post, we'll be highlighting five womxn who are making significant contributions to our understanding of ADHD and paving the way for new treatments and therapies. Women like Melissa Dvorsky, Linda Pfiffner, Lauren Haack, Anita Parhar, and Ellen Littman are all doing important work to advance our understanding of this complex condition. Their work is a reminder that women have a crucial role to play in STEM fields, and that efforts to address the underrepresentation of women in research are critical for the future of science.
Dr. Melissa Dvorsky is an assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at the George Washington University. Her research focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions for children with ADHD, with an emphasis on parent and family factors. She’s currently developing and piloting a technological intervention, called ATOM (Advanced Tools for Organization Management). In ATOM, students learn to organize materials, record assignments, plan ahead, and manage their time effectively. This work provides valuable data toward understanding how technology can optimize adolescent engagement. Learn more about her work here!
Dr. Linda Pfiffner is a professor in residence and director of the Hyperactivity, Attention and Learning Problems (HALP) Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on the development and evaluation of behavioral interventions for children with ADHD and their families. She’s currently developing and evaluating collaborative school-home psychosocial treatments for school-aged children with ADHD (inattentive presenting). Her Child Life and Attention Skills (CLAS) Program, which is a behavioral intervention for children with ADHD-Inattentive Presentation, was awarded Innovative Program of the Year in 2004 by CHADD. She’s also developing a web-based, remote training program for school mental health providers. You can learn more about her work here!
Dr. Lauren Haack is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco’s Weill Institute for Neurosciences. Her research focuses on the cultural influences to mental health conceptualization, assessment, and treatment. In the past, she has implemented and evaluated a behavioral school-based program to improve youth attention and behavior in Latin America - this program is the first of its kind to be implemented in this region! She is currently working on converting the Mexican school clinician training and ADHD/ODD intervention program for fully-remote delivery in Mexico. You can learn more about her work here!
Dr. Anita Parhar is a senior instructor in the department of sociology at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on the health disparities among Indigenous populations, and the cultural representations of illness and disease. In her work, she explores the cultural politics surrounding the representation of Indigenous peoples' health in Canada. She argues that representations of Indigenous health often reproduce colonial power relations and marginalize Indigenous knowledge and perspectives. This work highlights the need for decolonizing approaches to health research and practice, and contributes to a better understanding of the social and cultural factors that shape health outcomes and experiences. You can learn more about her work here!
Dr. Ellen Littman is a clinical psychologist and researcher who specializes in the assessment and treatment of ADHD in girls and women. She is the co-author of the book "Understanding Girls with ADHD". Her research has found that girls with ADHD often exhibit symptoms and behaviors that differ from those typically associated with the disorder. Beyond research, she has also created a video training program on Women with ADHD for the American Medical Association. You can learn more about her work here!
These womxn are just a few examples of the many researchers who are working to advance our understanding of ADHD. Their work is critical for improving the lives of individuals with ADHD and their families. If we want to create a more inclusive world, we need to do more to support women in STEM fields.
If you're interested in learning more about ADHD research and supporting womxn in science, consider donating to organizations like the Association for Women in Science or Women in STEM Australia.
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