Children's accounts of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Judy Kendall, Diane Hatton, Ann Beckett, Michael Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


As a postmodern illness, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is embedded in controversy, reflective of the cultural times in which we live. Within this debate, 2 perspectives, ADHD as myth and ADHD as behavioral disorder, are most frequently voiced. This article describes these 2 differing perspectives and reports qualitative data from 39 children and adolescents with a diagnosis of ADHD regarding their perceptions, meanings, and experiences of living with this disorder. None of the participants in this study denied that they had difficulties and many of the difficulties they described corresponded to DSM-IV-R criteria and the scientific literature. Given these discoveries, the continual debate about the authenticity of ADHD only further victimizes families who are in desperate need of services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-130
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Nursing Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


  • ADHD
  • Children
  • Postmodern illness
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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