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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder In Children

1618 words - 7 pages

This research paper will provide statistics for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, including cause, treatment and heritability. ADHD is primarily accompanied by other disorders, including emotional, physical and mental impairment. Utilizing three peer-reviewed journal articles, in class powerpoints, as well as text from Laura E. Berk’s textbook, “Infants and Children; Prenatal Through Middle Childhood”, ADHD will be explained in a nondiscriminatory manner. Geraldine S. Pearson suggests that when a child has ADHD, 10% to 35% of first-degree relatives also have the disorder while Laura E. Berk states that many cases are over-diagnosed. However, she does not suggest that ADHD is not commonly found in families; in contrast, she also states that it is a very heritable ailment. Unfortunately, ADHD is a lifelong disorder and treatment is not available for every individual affected.
Keywords: hereditary, disorder, environmental, behavior

ADHD in Children
Children who are diagnosed with ADHD are usually accompanied by another disorder; typically, children with ADHD have decreased attention spans, learning disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, and even Tourette disorder (Pearson). ADHD is a disorder that is highly obtainable due to hereditary, but genetic influence is not the only way a child may become afflicted with ADHD. Maternal smoking, or high amounts of stress while pregnant may also cause ADHD. Furthermore, there are other outside influences that can play a role in causing ADHD or contributing to the likelihood that a child will eventually be diagnosed as ADHD (Pearson; Berk). Furthermore, because ADHD is usually accompanied by other disorders, it is important to rule out these disorders. It is essential that there is an impairment in social, academic, or general ability to function in more than one setting. The symptoms must not be better explained by another disorder, such as an anxiety disorder, mood disorder, psychosis, or autistic disorder, although that can sometimes be difficult as these disorders frequently appear with ADHD and may be an explanation why ADHD is both over-diagnosed and under-diagnosed (Keen & Hadijikoumi, October).

ADHD Overview and Symptoms
What exactly is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? ADHD is "a persistent pattern of inattention and hyperactivity and impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in people at a comparable level of development" (APA, DSM-IV; Keen & Hadijikoumi, October). ADHD is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and excessive motor activity resulting in academic and social problems (Berk, 2012). ADHD is a lifelong disorder and can only be managed to an extent. There’s no objective tests for ADHD, only a particular criteria:
Symptoms must be present for at least 6 months, are generally observed in children before the age of 7 years, and cause clinically important impairment in social, academic, or...

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