ADHD Symptomatology and Teachers’ Perceptions of Maltreatment Effects

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Title: ADHD Symptomatology and Teachers’ Perceptions of Maltreatment Effects
Author: Martin, C. Gamache; Cromer, Lisa D.; Filgas-Heck, Regan
Abstract: Stimulant medication sales increased 500 percent between 1991 and 1999 (U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, 2000). The American Academy of Pediatrics has called the increase in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis an epidemic (2000). Is ADHD over-diagnosed? Is it misdiagnosed? Weinstein et al. (2000) report that ADHD presentation in children resembles trauma symptoms. Further, maltreated children are often diagnosed with both ADHD and PTSD (McLeer et al., 1994; Famularo et al., 1996). Phenotypic similarity between ADHD and trauma symptomatology calls etiology into question. Because of teachers' important roles in children's lives, this study examines teachers' views about this dialectic. Teachers (N = 156) worldwide (85% U.S., 7.1% Canada, 3.2% Asia, 1.3% from Australia and 4.5% unidentified) completed an internet survey and described maltreatment effects on students. Responses were compared to ADHD diagnostic criteria. For neglect 74.1% of learning and 72.8% of behavioral effects identified were also ADHD symptoms. For abuse, 56.9% of learning and 55.4% of behavioral effects identified were also ADHD symptoms. Implications for neglected and abused children identified as having ADHD are discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/4327
Date: 2005-11


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