Attention Deficit: Disorder or Dis-alignment?
Wayne, LaSondra L.
MetadataShow full item record
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has become the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder of childhood, affecting an estimated 3% to 5% of school-aged children. There are various perspectives on the etiology of ADHD, however, most ascribe to the medical model when categorizing and describing this disorder. Therefore, this analysis focuses on those explanations, detailing various possibilities from a sociological perspective. There are three major points of focus: the role of the American educational system, the debate surrounding Ritalin consumption, and the cultural tendency to overlook sociological explanations by the "medicalization" of social issues. Consequently, as ADHD becomes identified as a biological phenomenon, stimulant medications are seen as the most viable treatment option. Ritalin is the number one treatment option for ADHD symptoms. United Nations data indicate that the United States produces and consumes approximately 85-90% of the world's supply of the drug. As there is no definitive test for ADHD and no explanation for the etiology of the disorder, social scientists and other critics are beginning to question whether or not there is a real disorder. Sociological research suggests that changes in our educational system and other social institutions, such as the fields of medicine and psychology, would result in a decrease in the frequency of diagnosis and drug treatment of ADHD.