Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

analytical Essay
1672 words
1672 words

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADD or ADHD, has become much more common recently. As of 1994 the DSM-IV stated that about 3%-5% of American school aged children have this disorder. While it is quite a few children, what I find to be even more interesting are the male-to-female ratios within the disorder. They range from 4:1 to 9:1. According to Wade, Carol &Travis (2000), boys make up 80 to 90 percent of all ADHD cases. What I've looked into finding out is why there is such a gender difference. I wanted to know if it was because the way society raises girls, or are boys really at a higher risk for it. I am interested in this topic because a male cousin of mine recently was diagnosed with this disorder. You always hear about boys having this problem. This made me think about why there arenâ€TMt many girls that suffer from this. The one variable that I am most interested in for this study is how the label of having ADHD affects girls as opposed to boys. This topic is relevant to psychology because it is looking at the females social development and if it is impaired just because a label was put on her. Besides just socially, feeling that the child is different will lead to the parents, teachers, and other caregivers to treat the child differently, creating a different than normal development. To begin with, ADHD is a disorder in which there are persistent patterns of inattention and/ or impulsivity. It is a leading cause of school failure and under-achievement. Some of the characteristics include fidgeting with hands, difficulty remaining seated, not following through on instructions, shifting from one uncompleted task to another, interrupting conversations, a... ... middle of paper ... ...chiatry, 38, 40-48. Littman, E., (2000). ADHD under diagnosed in girls. Family Practice News, 30, 8. Gaub, M., Carlson, C. (1997). Gender differences in ADHD: A meta-analysis and critical review. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 1036-1046. Biederman, J., et al. (1999). Clinical correlates of ADHD in females: Findings from a large group of girls ascertained from pediatric and psychiatric referral sources. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 996-972. Greene, R., et al. (2001). Social impairment in girls with ADHD: Patterns, gender comparisons, and correlates. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 704-715. (2001). Girls with ADHD at greater risk for psychiatric problems. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 17, 6.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder has become more common in recent years. the male-to-female ratios range from 4:1 to 9:1.
  • Explains that they are interested in how the label of having adhd affects girls as opposed to boys. this topic is relevant to psychology because it is looking at the females social development.
  • Explains that adhd is a disorder in which there are persistent patterns of inattention and/or impulsivity. it is leading cause of school failure and under-achievement.
  • Explains the three sub-categories of hyperactive-impulsive, inattention, and combined types.
  • Explains that most of their research focused on how gender and society play into the diagnosis of adhd more in boys than in girls.
  • Explains that greene's 2001 study looked at how girls with adhd were perceived socially. the results were consistent with the thoughts that it raises the risk for the effects of adhd on the child.
  • Explains that gaub and carlson analyzed the prevalence rates of adhd and the male to female ratios. they used structured interviews, but changed some questions because they were making the dsm-iv criteria for adhd.
  • Explains that biederman (1999) talked about the difference between the types of adhd in girls and boys, stating that girls have intellectual impairment, mood, and anxiety disorders, while boys have hyperactive disorders and conduct disorders.
  • Explains biederman's findings that adhd in girls is a very overlooked, yet serious disorder. it is associated with impairment in multiple domains of functioning.
  • Explains that sharp (1999) looked into the lack of literature on adhd in girls. they found that girls were being treated less for adhd because they had different symptoms.
  • Analyzes littman's article about adhd symptoms in girls, stating that they tend to struggle with self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
  • Analyzes littman's points about the different ways adhd manifests itself in girls and boys, and the misdiagnosis of many females by diagnosing them with depression or anxiety.
  • Cites an article in the brown university child and adolescent behavior letter that talked about a study that included 24 females and 34 males with adhd and 28 female and 20 male controls. rucklidge's study found that female adhd was significantly more diminished in the areas of depression, anxiety, distress, teacher relationships, stress, attributional styles and focus of control.
  • Opines that more research on adhd can help girls avoid being misdiagnosed or going without any form of treatment.
  • Explains the american psychiatric association's diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th edition.
  • Summarizes gaub, carlson, and biederman's research on gender differences in adhd.
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