ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How ADHD Influences Development

Updated on April 11, 2015

ADHD is one of the most well-known psychological disorders in our society today. Sadly though, it's also one of the most over-diagnosed. These days, whenever a child is a little too active to our tastes, we put the label of 'adhd' on them, stuff them full of pills, and hope we can go back to sticking them in front of the tv to double as a babysitter. But the real ADHD, that still has a relatively high prevalence in a population, is a real and difficult thing to live with, for both the child and its parents.

Diagnosing ADHD

First, let's review the symptoms that would lead to the diagnosis, according to the Psychologist's Manual for Mental Disorders, the DSM-IV (since I'm boycotting the DSM-V... ;-) ). I will not mention all possible symptoms or the precise criteria, as that is not the subject of this article. Interested viewers can easily search the web for the requirements for this problem.

All of these symptoms should always be compared to what is considered normal for a child according to his or her development level, should last for a period of at least 6 months, and begin before the age of 12.

Inattention

The child doesn't notice details and appears to be careless. It's difficult to stay focused, and often it is easy to distract them. They can sometimes be thought of as "bad" because he or she doesn't seem to listen. They have difficulty organizing things.

Hyperactivity, Impulsiveness

As is stereotypical of these children, they are unable to sit still for extended periods of time, especially when it is required of them. Of course, this can be said of all children, and should always be judged in context. They typically seem to "fidget" and can't play quietly. They also seem to always be rattling about whatever is on their mind. They interrupt and seem to have problems with awaiting their turn in a conversation or game.

Of course, having these symptoms logically will lead to decreased performances in many fields.

Causing ADHD

As is typical of most any disorder, there is no single cause to be pinpointed. However, scientists researching identical twins who were separated at birth for adoption have found the impact of genes to be no less than 70-80%! The environment has been found to only have about a 22% influence on variation.

Of course, this is not merely a simple summation. Rather, environmental and genetical factors seem to interact.

Consequences of ADHD

ADHD has an obvious impact on performance, self esteem and on relationships with others, including those with the parents. It can directly influence parental stress and can indirectly lead to an increased likelihood of divorce.

According to a research published in 1975 by Campbell, children with ADHD are more likely to ask for help, which they also do a lot more frequently, talk a lot more, are less independent and less likely to obey their parents. They also communicate more negatively.

Mothers on the other hand were more inclined to help their children, and kept more control over them, as well as increasing the structure in a child's life. They tend to disapprove of the child's behavior more frequently, are less patient and responsive and will give fewer positive reactions to the child. They are more commanding and hand out punishment at a higher rate. However, they are also more sensitive to the child, as are fathers.

In families with this disorder, conflicts are stronger and more frequent. The communication style is more negative.

Parents of these children in general are more likely to attribute their bad behavior to internal and stabile factors. For example: "he did something wrong because he's bad." Good behavior is thought to be caused by something external and temporary: "he's giving me flowers because someone told him to do so."

Remarkably, there is a difference between the mother and the father in how they think about ADHD. Mothers will think of it as a biological disease, and feel guilt over it, whereas fathers reject the medical explanation and seek a psychological cause. This will cause dads to more often engage in a negative parenting style.

Both however will feel like they can't grasp control over it, which can be very disheartening.

Can Anything Be Done?

Luckily, parental training can lead to more responsive parenting, and an increased sense of competence and fewer conflicts.

ADHD is a lifelong disorder. In adulthood we can see them having trouble keeping a job or relationship and they are more likely to experience problems when they have children of their own. Medication such as Ritalin can calm the mind down, but cognitive behavioral therapy can lead to long lasting effects and a higher sense of self esteem.

The conclusion we can draw from all this is that ADHD is more than a problem for school but has a wide impact on a child's life, now and in the future, and has a strong influence on the parents as well. Therefore, a proper diagnosis and treatment adapted to the individual child's needs are no luxuries but important tools for building a better future and present.

Your Experience

Have you known someone close who suffered from genuine ADHD? What did they do?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • radhapriestess profile image

      radhapriestess 

      3 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thanks for a well written article. I would like to share some additional information on the topic. There is also a food connection for some children. Food intolerance and allergies can be a cause in some cases. Wheat, milk, sugar and other foods can cause problems in some children. When the food is taken out of the diet, the child vastly improves. Environmental toxins can also be a cause. Some children are chemically sensitive and cannot certain chemicals in their environments such as found in cleaning and construction products. When these are removed, the child functions normally. Also fluorescent lighting can a problem for some children. Of course, every child is different, so these factors need to be looked at in addition to those mentioned in your article.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)