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Title: An exploration of the diagnostic label 'Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder'
Authors: Parker, Honor Louise
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The diagnostic label Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is classed as an acute disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-V). However, ADHD is contextualised within various disciplines - biomedical, psychological and sociological, each of which provide conflicting discourses that confuse the meaning of this diagnostic label. Research suggests children with ADHD diagnoses experience difficulties in social and educational settings. However, contrasting literature exists regarding how children with ADHD diagnoses view themselves. The first chapter of this thesis critically reviews existing research purporting children with ADHD diagnoses overestimate their social competencies. This overestimation is known as the Positive Illusory Bias (PIB). Three conclusions were drawn from the systematic literature review: research in this area does not account for individual differences between children with ADHD diagnoses, quantitative measurement of children’s self-concept is problematic, the concept of the PIB relies upon the assumption that adults’ views are more valid than children’s and does not consider the impact the label ADHD may have on individuals. The conclusions of this Systematic Literature Review informed the empirical research question; what does the diagnostic label ADHD mean to a diagnosed child and the adults who support him? The empirical research used a qualitative methodology to explore the perceptions of a child who has received an ADHD diagnosis, his mother, his teacher and his learning support assistant (LSA) regarding the meaning and impact of the diagnostic label ADHD. Subsequently, the transcripts of four semi-structured interviews were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Three master grouped themes were discovered that encapsulate the participants’ perceptions of the label ADHD; Blame, Fear and Support. The master group themes are discussed in consideration of the findings of the Systematic Literature Review, quotes from the participants’ accounts of their lived experience and my interpretations. Due to the research design and context, this empirical research offers novel findings about the views of different stakeholders regarding the diagnostic label ADHD. The associated implications for educational psychologists are discussed.
Description: DAppEdPsy Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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