Public Knowledge, Beliefs, and Treatment Preferences Concerning Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Public Knowledge, Beliefs, and Treatment Preferences Concerning Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its treatment have sparked public and intellectual controversy for more than 40 years. Critics charge that ADHD is not a “real” disease but rather a constellation of behaviors that parents and schools have become unwilling or unable to tolerate. According to critics, parents and teachers accept diagnostic labels and psychostimulant prescriptions because they offer relatively straightforward, inexpensive, and fast-acting solutions to complex problems (14). By implication, critics claim that ADHD is overdiagnosed and that children are receiving unnecessary and inappropriate treatment.

Contrary to this claim, research on treatment utilization suggests that only half of children with ADHD receive treatment, and less than half of them receive specialty care (58). Fewer children receive psychostimulant medications than would be expected with estimated population prevalence rates (6,9), which supports the claim that ADHD is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The “International Consensus Statement on ADHD” (10) faults the media for publishing irresponsible stories that imply that ADHD is not a valid or real disorder. According to the statement, such stories diminish public recognition of the often devastating consequences of the disorder and the potential for medical treatments to alleviate them.”


After reading and hearing so much b******t about ADHD and all that “it’s not” (real disease, disorder, anything out of the ordinary etc. ) and alt that “it is” (just an excuse, laziness, bad discipline, bad parenting, normal childhood, being a boy etc.), reading this is like a drink of cool, clean water. The researcher here clearly holds the press responsible for their portrayal of ADHD, and it’s about time!


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