What children and young people learn about ADHD from youth information books: A text analysis of nine books on ADHD available in Dutch

Laura Batstra, Linda Foget, Caroline van Haeringen, Sanne te Meerman, Ernst Daniel Thoutenhoofd*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not a singular concept. For the purposes of this study, understandings of ADHD are assumed also to spread along a conceptual dimension that includes some combination of biomedical and psychosocial knowledge. Biomedically, ADHD may be considered a somatic affliction causing inattention and hyperactivity, amenable to pharmaceutical treatment. Psychosocially, ADHD ranks among adverse behaviour patterns that are amenable to psychosocial and pedagogical intervention. Considering both biomedical and psychosocial factors are associated with the ADHD construct, it seems self-evident that young people should be offered information that gives equal consideration to both ways of addressing ADHD, but the question is just how balanced the information available to young people is. This study investigated nine information books on ADHD available in the Netherlands in Dutch, aimed at children and young people up to age 17. Thirteen perspective-dependent text elements were identified in qualitative content analysis. Eight attributes associate with a biomedical view: ADHD as cause, biological factors, clinical diagnosis, brain abnormality, medication, neurofeedback, heritability and persistence. Five text elements associate with a psychosocial view: ADHD as perceived behaviour, environmental factors, descriptive diagnosis, behavioural intervention and normalisation. The most frequent text passages encountered describe ADHD as a brain abnormality, along with medical and behavioural treatment. Providing the main focus for information in eight out of nine books, biomedical information about ADHD predominates in the available youth information books, while psychosocial information about ADHD is far less well covered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian journal of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • psychoeducation
  • youth information books
  • biomedical perspective
  • psychosocial perspective
  • DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
  • ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
  • BRAIN VOLUME DIFFERENCES
  • FOLLOW-UP
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • PARTICIPANTS
  • METAANALYSIS
  • MEDICATION

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