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The rise and rise of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

The rise and rise of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder The rise in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the use of stimulant medication such as Ritalin to treat it raises important questions about how childhood is conceptualised in contemporary western society today. By focusing on within‐child explanations for behaviour, the diagnosis of ADHD divorces a child from their context; real life experiences, including traumatic ones, are marginalised or excluded from clinical consideration. This paper1 explores how ADHD manages to occupy and hold on to such a dominant position despite the lack of evidence supporting its supposed medical origins, and explores what the ADHD diagnosis reveals about cultural expectations of childhood and power hierarchies in the UK and North America. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Mental Health Emerald Publishing

The rise and rise of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Journal of Public Mental Health , Volume 4 (2): 5 – Jun 1, 2005

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1746-5729
DOI
10.1108/17465729200500013
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The rise in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the use of stimulant medication such as Ritalin to treat it raises important questions about how childhood is conceptualised in contemporary western society today. By focusing on within‐child explanations for behaviour, the diagnosis of ADHD divorces a child from their context; real life experiences, including traumatic ones, are marginalised or excluded from clinical consideration. This paper1 explores how ADHD manages to occupy and hold on to such a dominant position despite the lack of evidence supporting its supposed medical origins, and explores what the ADHD diagnosis reveals about cultural expectations of childhood and power hierarchies in the UK and North America.

Journal

Journal of Public Mental HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 2005

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