Clinical child psychology and psychiatry | 30 Oct 2012
The role of psychosocial factors in perpetuating and predisposing towards the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms has been neglected within the field of child mental health. Clinicians, when told that a child had a diagnosis of ADHD, have been found to underestimate the presence of psychosocial factors, and are less likely to ask about the possibility of neglect or abuse. This article details the considerable research showing links between ADHD symptoms and parental mental illness, child maltreatment, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attachment disorders and other environmental factors. Recent neuro-biological findings showing the impact on brain development of early abuse and attachment concerns are cited. The implications of these findings both for clinicians, and at policy level, are discussed, and the reasons underlying the need for a more integrated Bio-Psycho-Social approach to ADHD are outlined.
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