Research Abstracts: Diagnosing ADHD

Title: “ADHD does bad stuff to you”: young people’s and parents’ experiences and percep-tions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Author: Travell, Chris; Visser, John
Reference: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 11(3), September 2006, pp205-216

This paper outlines the findings of a study of young people’s and parents’ experiences and perspectives of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder from five positions: the “symptoms” of ADHD and their consequences, the process of diagnosis and treatment, interventions, a personal diagnosis, and participation and voice.

It questions the value and validity of diagnosing children and young people as having ADHD and highlights the possibility that apparent short-term benefits of treatment with medication might be outweighed by longer-term negative psychological effects.

It further argues that the voice of the young person should be considered in assessment and intervention processes where behaviour might lead to a diagnosis of ADHD.

The authors assert that challenging behaviour should be interpreted and addressed from a broad theoretical perspective which takes into account biological, psychological, social and cultural factors, and warn that diagnosis and treatment with medication might limit such a perspective.

Title: What Is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
Author: Furman MD, Lydia
Reference: Journal of Child Neurology, 2005, 20(12), pp994-1003

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is described as the most common neurobehavioural condition of childhood. This paper raises the concern that ADHD is not a disease in itself but rather a group of symptoms that represents a final common behavioural pathway for a gamut of emotional, psychological, and/or learning problems.

An increasing number of children, especially boys, are diagnosed with ADHD and treated with stimulant medications according to a simplified approach.

Methodical review of the literature, however, raised issues of concern and the view that ADHD is a disease or neurobehavioural condition does not at this time hold up to scrutiny of evidence.

Title: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and diverse populations
Author: Mattox, Renee; Harder, Jeanette
Reference: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 24(2), April 2007, pp195-207

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the most commonly diagnosed behavioural disorder of childhood. Given the high prevalence of ADHD and its significant impact on children and families, it is important for social workers to understand and know how to respond.

This paper looks at attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, explores its causes, and gives special attention to its effect on diverse populations.

In addition, it discusses empirically supported treatment interventions used for children with ADHD, particularly the role of parent training in the management of ADHD. Finally, it discusses the applicability of using parent-training programmes with diverse populations.



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