ADHD: Little interest in abuse

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ADHD: Little interest in abuse or neglect

Once a child is diagnosed with ADHD, clinicians are hardly interested in whether psychosocial causes such as abuse or neglect play a role. This was pointed out by the London child and adolescent psychiatrist Louise Marie-Elaine Richards in a study (1). When comparing ADHD children with behaviorally disturbed children, clinicians who did not know the diagnosis of the children found the same number of psychosocial abnormalities in both groups. However, if they knew the diagnosis, they often overlooked such factors in ADHD (2). This must have devastating consequences for the children if their real suffering with the medical pseudodiagnosis ADHD is hidden and left untreated.
Richards therefore demands that the already extensively researched psychosocial factors in the etiology, diagnosis and therapy of ADHD should no longer be denied. "It is time for better integration of bio-psycho-social factors in ADHD," she rightly says.

Significance of psychosocial factors in the development of ADHD
The importance of psychosocial factors in the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has so far been neglected. The clear connection between ADHD and the mental health of parents, child abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, neglect, disturbed family dynamics, domestic violence, low psychosocial status and other environmental influences can no longer be ignored. Clinicians have so far underestimated the importance of such psychosocial factors and see them at best as the consequences of ADHD, but not as causes. Neurobiological research that shows the influence of early abuse and adjustment disorders on brain development must also be noted.

The importance of many available findings on the influence of psychosocial factors in ADHD for clinicians as well as for the general public is extensive, especially for our school system. The previously unilaterally biological-medical disease model ADHD, which only describes behavior but not explains it, must finally be qualified. (Conference ADHD)


(1) Richards, LM .: It is time for a more integrated bio-psycho-social approach to 2012 Oct 26.
(2) Psychosocial adversities underestimated in hyperkinetic children. 1999 Feb; 40 (2): 259-63.

Author and source information

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  1. Gabar

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  2. Dunmore

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  3. Nitis

    This is really surprising.

  4. Dontrell

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  5. Adnan

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