The association between restricted fetal growth and symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood is well-replicated and robust. However, fetal growth is determined by many prenatal factors and associations with mental health may be confounded by familial and social context. In this study, we sought to quantify the relative contributions of prenatal factors and familial confounds to the association between fetal growth and ADHD symptoms. Two independent cohorts were analyzed, the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (ABCD; United States) and the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study. ADHD symptoms were measured by the Child Behavior Checklist (ABCD) and the Strengths & Difficulties questionnaire (GUI) at age 9–10. Using sequential regression models, we assessed the change-in-association between fetal growth and ADHD symptoms after controlling for sex, familial factors (socioeconomic/demographic factors & family psychiatric history) and prenatal factors (pregnancy complications & maternal substance-use during pregnancy). Converging findings from cohorts suggested that over a quarter of the association between fetal growth and ADHD symptoms is attributable to familial confounds. The degree to which the association was explained by prenatal factors differed by cohort—pregnancy complications explained a larger proportion of the effect in ABCD (7.9%) than GUI (2.7%), and maternal substance-use explained a larger proportion of the effect in GUI (22.7%) compared to ABCD (4.8%). Different explanations of the fetal growth-ADHD association across cohorts suggests cohort-specific, and potentially nationally-specific, risk factors for fetal growth and related neurodevelopmental outcomes. The evidence suggests early prevention of ADHD in Ireland should focus on minimizing maternal smoking during pregnancy. In the US, prevention and treatment of pregnancy complications are highlighted as viable targets for intervention.