A systematic meta-review of systematic reviews on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder


  • 1 Centre for Research and Education in Forensic Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.
  • 2 Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
  • 3 Division of Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.
  • 4 Division for Health Services, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
  • 5 Department of Community Medicine, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.
  • 6 Centre for Work and Mental Health, Nordland Hospital, Bodø, Norway.
  • PMID: 37974470
  • PMCID: PMC10755583
  • DOI: 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2023.2451

Background: There are now hundreds of systematic reviews on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) of variable quality. To help navigate this literature, we have reviewed systematic reviews on any topic on ADHD.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science and performed quality assessment according to the Joanna Briggs Institute Manual for Evidence Synthesis. A total of 231 systematic reviews and meta-analyses met the eligibility criteria.

Results: The prevalence of ADHD was 7.2% for children and adolescents and 2.5% for adults, though with major uncertainty due to methodological variation in the existing literature. There is evidence for both biological and social risk factors for ADHD, but this evidence is mostly correlational rather than causal due to confounding and reverse causality. There is strong evidence for the efficacy of pharmacological treatment on symptom reduction in the short-term, particularly for stimulants. However, there is limited evidence for the efficacy of pharmacotherapy in mitigating adverse life trajectories such as educational attainment, employment, substance abuse, injuries, suicides, crime, and comorbid mental and somatic conditions. Pharmacotherapy is linked with side effects like disturbed sleep, reduced appetite, and increased blood pressure, but less is known about potential adverse effects after long-term use. Evidence of the efficacy of nonpharmacological treatments is mixed.

Conclusions: Despite hundreds of systematic reviews on ADHD, key questions are still unanswered. Evidence gaps remain as to a more accurate prevalence of ADHD, whether documented risk factors are causal, the efficacy of nonpharmacological treatments on any outcomes, and pharmacotherapy in mitigating the adverse outcomes associated with ADHD.

Keywords: ADHD; Child and adolescent psychiatry; Epidemiology; Public Health; Systematic reviews.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / epidemiology
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants* / therapeutic use
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants

Understanding and Supporting Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the Primary School Classroom: Perspectives of Children with ADHD and their Teachers

  • Original Paper
  • Open access
  • Published: 01 July 2022
  • Volume 53 , pages 3406–3421, ( 2023 )

Cite this article

You have full access to this open access article

example of a research paper on adhd

  • Emily McDougal   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-7684-7417 1 , 3 ,
  • Claire Tai 1 ,
  • Tracy M. Stewart   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8807-1174 2 ,
  • Josephine N. Booth   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-2867-9719 2 &
  • Sinéad M. Rhodes   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8662-1742 1  

36k Accesses

6 Citations

16 Altmetric

Explore all metrics

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more at risk for academic underachievement compared to their typically developing peers. Understanding their greatest strengths and challenges at school, and how these can be supported, is vital in order to develop focused classroom interventions. Ten primary school pupils with ADHD (aged 6–11 years) and their teachers (N = 6) took part in semi-structured interviews that focused on (1) ADHD knowledge, (2) the child’s strengths and challenges at school, and (3) strategies in place to support challenges. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the interview transcripts and three key themes were identified; classroom-general versus individual-specific strategies, heterogeneity of strategies, and the role of peers. Implications relating to educational practice and future research are discussed.

Similar content being viewed by others

example of a research paper on adhd

Evidence-Based Assessment and Intervention for ADHD in School Psychology

The ecology of adhd in the schools.

example of a research paper on adhd

Effective Assessment and Intervention for Children with ADHD in Rural Elementary School Settings

Avoid common mistakes on your manuscript.

Characterised by persistent inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity (APA, 2013), ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder thought to affect around 5% of children (Russell et al., 2014 ) although prevalence estimates vary (Sayal et al., 2018 ). Although these core symptoms are central to the ADHD diagnosis, those with ADHD also tend to differ from typically developing children with regards to cognition and social functioning (Coghill et al., 2014 ; Rhodes et al., 2012 ), which can negatively impact a range of life outcomes such as educational attainment and employment (Classi et al., 2012 ; Kuriyan et al., 2013 ). Indeed, academic outcomes for children with ADHD are often poor, particularly when compared with their typically developing peers (Arnold et al., 2020 ) but also compared to children with other neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism (Mayes et al., 2020 ). Furthermore, children with ADHD can be viewed negatively by their peers. For example, Law et al. ( 2007 ) asked 11–12-year-olds to read vignettes describing the behaviour of a child with ADHD symptoms, and then use an adjective checklist to endorse those adjectives that they felt best described the target child. The four most frequently ascribed adjectives were all negative (i.e. ‘careless’, ‘lonely’, ‘crazy’, and ‘stupid’). These negative perceptions can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of individuals with ADHD, including self-stigmatisation (Mueller et al., 2012 ). There is evidence that teachers with increased knowledge of ADHD report more positive attitudes towards children with ADHD compared to those with poor knowledge (Ohan et al., 2008 ) and thus research that identifies the characteristics of gaps in knowledge is likely to be important in addressing stigma.

Previous research of teachers' ADHD knowledge is mixed, with the findings of some studies indicating that teachers have good knowledge of ADHD (Mohr-Jensen et al., 2019 ; Ohan et al., 2008 ) and others suggesting that their knowledge is limited (Latouche & Gascoigne, 2019 ; Perold et al., 2010 ). Ohan et al. ( 2008 ) surveyed 140 primary school teachers in Australia who reported having experience of teaching at least one child with ADHD. Teachers completed the ADHD Knowledge Scale which consisted of 20 statements requiring a response of either true or false (e.g. “A girl/boy can be appropriately labelled as ADHD and not necessarily be over-active ”). They found that, on average, teachers answered 76.34% of items correctly, although depth of knowledge varied across the sample. Almost a third of the sample (29%) had low knowledge of ADHD (scoring less than 69%), with just under half of teachers (47%) scoring in the average range (scores of 70–80%). Only a quarter (23%) had “high knowledge” (scores above 80%) suggesting that knowledge varied considerably. Furthermore, Perold et al. ( 2010 ) asked 552 teachers in South Africa to complete the Knowledge of Attention Deficit Disorders Scale (KADDS) and found that on average, teachers answered only 42.6% questions about ADHD correctly. Responses of “don’t know” (35.4%) and incorrect responses (22%) were also recorded, indicating gaps in knowledge as well as a high proportion of misconceptions. Similar ADHD knowledge scores were reported in Latouche and Gascoigne’s ( 2019 ) study, who found that teachers enrolled into their ADHD training workshop in Australia had baseline KADDS scores of below 50% accuracy (increased to above 80% accuracy after training).

The differences in ADHD knowledge reported between Ohan et al. ( 2008 ) and the more recent studies could be due to the measures used. Importantly, when completing the KADDS, respondents can select a “don’t know” option (which receives a score of 0), whereas the ADHD Knowledge Scale requires participants to choose either true or false for each statement. The KADDS is longer, with a total of 39 items, compared to the 20-item ADHD Knowledge Scale, offering a more in-depth knowledge assessment. The heterogeneity of measures used within the described body of research is also highlighted within Mohr-Jensen et al. ( 2019 ) systematic review; the most frequently used measure (the KADDS) was only used by 4 out of the 33 reviewed studies, showing little consensus on the best way to measure ADHD knowledge. Despite these differences in measurement, the findings from most studies indicate that teacher ADHD knowledge is lacking.

Qualitative methods can provide rich data, facilitating a deeper understanding of phenomena that quantitative methods alone cannot reveal. Despite this, there are very few examples in the literature of qualitative methods being used to understand teacher knowledge of ADHD. In one example, Lawrence et al. ( 2017 ) interviewed fourteen teachers in the United States about their experiences of working with pupils with ADHD, beginning with their knowledge of ADHD. They found that teachers tended to focus on the external symptoms of ADHD, expressing knowledge of both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms. Although this provided key initial insights into the nature of teachers’ ADHD knowledge, only a small section of the interview schedule (one out of eight questions/topics) directly focused on ADHD knowledge. Furthermore, none of the questions asked directly about strengths, with answers focusing on difficulties. It is therefore difficult to determine from this study whether teachers are aware of strengths and difficulties outside of the triad of symptoms. A deeper investigation is necessary to fully understand what teachers know, and to identify areas for targeted psychoeducation.

Importantly, improved ADHD knowledge may impact positively on the implementation of appropriate support for children with ADHD in school. For example, Ohan et al. ( 2008 ) found that teachers with high or average ADHD knowledge were more likely to perceive a benefit of educational support services than those with low knowledge, and teachers with high ADHD knowledge were also more likely to endorse a need for, and seek out, those services compared to those with low knowledge. Furthermore, improving knowledge through psychoeducation may be important for improving fidelity to interventions in ADHD (Dahl et al., 2020 ; Nussey et al., 2013 ). Indeed, clinical guidelines recommend inclusion of psychoeducation in the treatment plan for children with ADHD and their families (NICE, 2018 ). Furthermore, Jones and Chronis-Tuscano ( 2008 ) found that educational ADHD training increased special education teachers’ use of behaviour management strategies in the classroom. Together, these findings suggest that understanding of ADHD may improve teachers’ selection and utilisation of appropriate strategies.

Child and teacher insight into strategy use in the classroom on a practical, day-to-day level may provide an opportunity to better understand how different strategies might benefit children, as well as the potential barriers or facilitators to implementing these in the classroom. Previous research with teachers has shown that aspects of the physical classroom can facilitate the implementation of effective strategies for autistic children, for example to support planning with the use of visual timetables (McDougal et al., 2020 ). Despite this, little research has considered the strategies that children with ADHD and their teachers are using in the classroom to support their difficulties and improve learning outcomes. Moore et al. ( 2017 ) conducted focus groups with UK-based educators (N = 39) at both primary and secondary education levels, to explore their experiences of responding to ADHD in the classroom, as well as the barriers and facilitators to supporting children. They found that educators mostly reflected on general inclusive strategies in the classroom that rarely targeted ADHD symptoms or difficulties specifically, despite the large number of strategies designed to support ADHD that are reported elsewhere in the literature (DuPaul et al., 2012 ; Richardson et al., 2015 ). Further to this, when interviewing teachers about their experiences of teaching pupils with ADHD, Lawrence et al. ( 2017 ) specifically asked about interventions or strategies used in the classroom with children with ADHD. The reported strategies were almost exclusively behaviourally based, for example, allowing children to fidget or move around the classroom, utilising rewards, using redirection techniques, or reducing distraction. This lack of focus on cognitive strategies is surprising, given the breadth of literature focusing on the cognitive difficulties in ADHD (e.g. Coghill, et al., 2014 ; Gathercole et al., 2018 ; Rhodes et al., 2012 ). Furthermore, to our knowledge research examining strategy use from the perspective of children with ADHD themselves, or strengths associated with ADHD, is yet to be conducted.

Knowledge and understanding of ADHD in children with ADHD has attracted less investigation than that of teachers. In a Canadian sample of 8- to 12-year-olds with ADHD (N = 29), Climie and Henley ( 2018 ) found that ADHD knowledge was highly varied between children; scores on the Children ADHD Knowledge and Opinions Scale ranged from 5 to 92% correct (M = 66.53%, SD = 18.96). The authors highlighted some possible knowledge gaps, such as hyperactivity not being a symptom for all people with ADHD, or the potential impact upon social relationships, however the authors did not measure participant’s ADHD symptoms, which could influence how children perceive ADHD. Indeed, Wiener et al ( 2012 ) has shown that children with ADHD may underestimate their symptoms. If this is the case, it would also be beneficial to investigate their understanding of their own strengths and difficulties, as well as of ADHD more broadly. Furthermore, if children do have a poor understanding of ADHD, they may benefit from psychoeducational interventions. Indeed, in their systematic review Dahl et al. ( 2020 ) found two studies in which the impact of psychoeducation upon children’s ADHD knowledge was examined, both of which reported an increase in knowledge as a consequence of the intervention. Understanding the strengths and difficulties of the child, from the perspective of the child and their teacher, will also allow the design of interventions that are individualised, an important feature for school-based programmes (Richardson et al., 2015 ). Given the above, understanding whether children have knowledge of their ADHD and are aware of strategies to support them would be invaluable.

Teacher and child knowledge of ADHD and strategies to support these children is important for positive developmental outcomes, however there is limited research evidence beyond quantitative data. Insights from children and teachers themselves is particularly lacking and the insights which are available do not always extend to understanding strengths which is an important consideration, particularly with regards to implications for pupil self-esteem and motivation. The current study therefore provides a vital examination of the perspectives of both strengths and weaknesses from a heterogeneous group of children with ADHD and their teachers. Our sample reflects the diversity encountered in typical mainstream classrooms in the UK and the matched pupil-teacher perspectives enriches current understandings in the literature. Specifically, we aimed to explore (1) child and teacher knowledge of ADHD, and (2) strategy use within the primary school classroom to support children with ADHD. This novel approach, from the dual perspective of children and teachers, will enable us to identify potential knowledge gaps, areas of strength, and insights on the use of strategies to support their difficulties.


Ten primary school children (3 female) aged 7 to 11 years (M = 8.7, SD = 1.34) referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) within the NHS for an ADHD diagnosis were recruited to the study. All participant characteristics are presented in Table 1 . All children were part of the Edinburgh Attainment and Cognition Cohort and had consented to be contacted for future research. Children who were under assessment for ADHD or who had received an ADHD diagnosis were eligible to take part. Contact was established with the parent of 13 potential participants. Two had undergone the ADHD assessment process with an outcome of no ADHD diagnosis and were therefore not eligible to take part, and one could not take part within the timeframe of the study. The study was approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee and parents provided informed consent prior to their child taking part. Co-occurrences data for all participants was collected as part of a previous study and are reported here for added context. All of the children scored above the cut-off (T-score > 70) for ADHD on the Conners 3 rd Edition Parent diagnostic questionnaire (Conners, 2008 ). The maximum possible score for this measure is 90. At the point of interview, seven children had received a diagnosis of ADHD, two children were still under assessment, and one child had been referred for an ASD diagnosis (Table 1 ). The ADHD subtype of each participant was not recorded, however all children scored above the cut-off for both inattention (M = 87.3, SD = 5.03) and hyperactivity (M = 78.6, SD = 5.8) which is indicative of ADHD combined type. Use of stimulant medication was not recorded at the time of interview.

Following the child interview and receipt of parental consent, each child’s school was contacted to request their teacher’s participation in the study. Three teachers could not take part within the timeframe of the study, and one refused to take part. Six teachers (all female) were successfully contacted and gave informed consent to participate.

Due to the increased likelihood of co-occurring diagnoses in the target population, we also report Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms and Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) symptoms using the Autism Quotient 10-item questionnaire (AQ-10; Allison et al., 2012 ) and Movement ABC-2 Checklist (M-ABC2; Henderson et al., 2007 ) respectively, both completed by the child’s parent.

Scores of 6 and above on the AQ-10 indicates referral for diagnostic assessment for autism is advisable. All but one of the participants scored below the cut-off on this measure (M = 3.6, SD = 1.84).

The M-ABC2 checklist categorises children as scoring green, amber or red based on their scores. A green rating (up to the 85th percentile) indicates no movement difficulty, amber ratings (between 85 and 95th percentile) indicate risk of movement difficulty, and red ratings (95th percentile and above) indicate high likelihood of movement difficulty. Seven of the participants received a red rating, one an amber rating, and two green ratings.

Socioeconomic status (SES) is also known to impact educational outcomes, therefore the SES of each child was calculated using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), which is an area-based measure of relative deprivation. The child’s home postcode was entered into the tool which provided a score of deprivation on a scale of 1 to 5. A score of 1 is given to the 20% most deprived data zones in Scotland, and a score of 5 indicates the area was within the 20% least deprived areas.

Semi-Structured Interview

The first author, who is a psychologist, conducted interviews with each participant individually, and then a separate interview with their teacher. This was guided by a semi-structured interview schedule (see Appendix A, Appendix B) developed in line with our research questions, existing literature, and using authors (T.S. and J.B.) expertise in educational practice. The questions were adapted to be relevant for the participant group. For example, children were asked “If a friend asked you to tell them what ADHD is, what would you tell them?” and teachers were asked, “What is your understanding of ADHD or can you describe a typical child with ADHD?”. The schedule comprised two key sections for both teachers and children. The first section focused on probing the participant’s understanding and knowledge of ADHD broadly. The second section focused on the participating child’s academic and cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and the strategies used to support them. Interviews with children took place in the child’s home and lasted between 19 and 51 min (M = 26.3, SD = 10.9). Interviews with teachers took place at their school and were between 28 and 50 min long (M = 36.5, SD = 7.61). Variation in interview length was mostly due to availability of the participant and/or age of the child (i.e. interviews with younger children tended to be shorter). All interviews were recorded on an encrypted voice recorder and transcribed by the first author prior to data analysis. Pseudonyms were randomly generated for each child to protect anonymity.

Reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse the data (Braun & Clarke, 2019 ). This flexible approach allows the data to drive the analysis, putting the participant at the centre of the research and placing high value on the experiences and perspectives of individual participants (Braun & Clarke, 2006 ). The six phases of reflexive thematic analysis as outlined by Braun and Clarke were followed: (1) familiarisation, (2) generating codes, (3) constructing themes, (4) revising themes, (5) defining themes, (6) producing the report. Due to the exploratory nature of this study, bottom-up inductive coding was used. Two of the authors (E.M. and C.T.) worked collaboratively to construct and subsequently define the themes using the process described above. More specifically, one author (E.M.) generated codes, with support from another author (C.T.). Collated codes and data were then abstracted into potential themes, which were reviewed and refined using relevant literature, as well as within the wider context of the data. This process continued until all themes were agreed upon.

In the first part of the analysis, focus was placed on summarising the participants’ understanding of ADHD, as well as what they thought their biggest strengths and challenges were at school. Following this, an in-depth analysis of the strategies used in the classroom was conducted, taking into account the perspective of both teachers and children, aiming to generate themes from the data.

Knowledge of ADHD

Children and teachers were asked about their knowledge of ADHD. When asked if they had ever heard of ADHD, the majority of children said yes. Some of the children could not explain to the interviewer what ADHD was or responded in a way that suggested a lack of understanding ( “it helps you with skills” – Niall, 7 years; “ Well it’s when you can’t handle yourself and you’re always crazy and you can just like do things very fast”— Nathan, 8 years). Very few of the children were able to elaborate accurately on their understanding of ADHD, which exclusively focused on inattention. For example, Paige (8 years) said “ its’ kinda like this thing that makes it hard to concentrate ” and Finn (10 years) said “ they get distracted more just in different ways that other people would ”. This suggests that children with ADHD may lack or have a limited awareness or understanding of their diagnosis.

When asked about their knowledge of ADHD, teachers tended to focus on the core symptoms of ADHD. All teachers directly mentioned difficulties with attention, focus or concentration, and most directly or indirectly referred to hyperactivity (e.g. moving around, being in “ overdrive ”). Most teachers also referred to social difficulties as a feature of ADHD, including not following social rules, reacting inappropriately to other children and appearing to lack empathy, which they suggested could be linked to impulsivity. For example, “ reacting in social situations where perhaps other children might not react in a similar way” (Paige’s teacher) and “ They can react really really quickly to things and sometimes aggressively” (Eric’s teacher). Although no teachers directly mentioned cognitive difficulties, some referred to behaviours indicative of cognitive difficulties, for example, “ they can’t store a lot of information at one time” (Eric’s teacher) and, “ it’s not just the concentration it’s the amount they can take in at a time as well” (Nathan’s teacher), which may reflect processing or memory differences. Heterogeneity was mentioned, in that ADHD can mean different things for different children (e.g., “ I think ADHD differs from child to child and I think that’s really important” —Nathan’s teacher). Finally, academic difficulties as a feature of ADHD were also mentioned (e.g., “ a child… who finds some aspects of school life, some aspects of the curriculum challenging ”—Jay’s teacher).

After being asked to give a general description of ADHD, each child was asked about their own strengths at school and teachers were also asked to reflect on this topic for the child taking part.

When asked what they like most about school, children often mentioned art or P.E. as their preferred subjects. A small number of children said they enjoyed maths or reading, but this was not common and the majority described these subjects as a challenge or something they disliked. There was also clear link between the aspects of school children enjoyed, and what they perceived to be a strength for them. For example, when asked what he liked about school, Eric (10 years) said, “ Math, I’m pretty good at that”, or when later asked what they were good at, most children responded with the same answers they gave when asked what they liked about school. It is interesting to note that subjects such as art or P.E. generally have a different format to more traditionally academic subjects such as maths or literacy. Indeed, Felicity (11 years) said, “ I quite like art and drama because there’s not much reading…and not really too much writing in any of those” . Children also tended to mention the non-academic aspects of school, such as seeing their friends, or lunch and break times.

Teachers’ descriptions of the children’s strengths were much more variable compared to strengths mentioned by children. Like the children, teachers tended to consider P.E and artistic activities to be a strength for the child with ADHD. Multiple teachers referred to the child having a good imagination and creative skills. For example, “ she’s a very imaginative little girl, she has a great ability to tell stories and certainly with support write imaginative stories” (Paige’s teacher) . Teachers referred to other qualities or characteristics of the child as strengths, although these varied across teachers. These included openness, both socially but also in the context of willingness to learn or being open to new challenges, being a hard worker, or an enjoyable person to be around (e.g., “ he is the loveliest little boy, I’ve got a lot of time for [Nathan]. He makes me smile every day, you know, he just comes out with stuff he’s hilarious”— Nathan’s teacher). The most noticeable theme that emerged from this data was that when some teachers began describing one of the child’s strengths, it was suffixed with a negative. For example, Henry’s teacher said, “ He’s got a very good imagination, his writing- well not so much the writing of the stories, he finds writing quite a challenge, but his verbalising of ideas he’s very imaginative”. This may reflect that while these children have their own strengths, these can be limited by difficulties. Indeed, Paige’s teacher said, “ I think she’s a very able little girl without a doubt, but there is a definite barrier to her learning in terms of her organisation, in terms of her focus” , which reinforces this notion.

Children were asked directly about what they disliked about school, and what they found difficult. Children tended to focus more on specific subjects, with maths and aspects of literacy being the most frequently mentioned of these. Children referred to difficulties with or a dislike for reading, writing and/or spelling activities, for example, Rory (9 years) said “ Well I suppose spelling because … sometimes we have to do some boring tasks like we have to write it out three times then come up with the sentence for each one which takes forever and it’s hard for me to think of the sentences if I’m not ready” . Linking this with known cognitive difficulties in ADHD, it is interesting to note that both memory and planning are implicated in this quote from Rory about finding spelling challenging. In terms of writing, children referred to both the physical act of writing (e.g., “ probably writing cause sometimes I forget my finger spaces ”—Paige, 8 years; “ [writing the alphabet is] too hard… like the letters joined together … [and] I make mistakes” —Jay, 7 years) as well as the planning associated with writing a longer piece of work (e.g. “ when I run out of ideas for it, it’s really hard to think of some more so I don’t usually get that much writing done ”—Rory (9 years) .

Aside from academic subjects, several children referred to difficulties with focus or attention (e.g. “ when I find it hard to do something I normally kind of just zone out ”—Felicity, 11 years, “ probably concentrating sometimes ”—Rory, 9 years), but boredom was also a common and potentially related theme (e.g. “ Reading is a bit hard though … it just sometimes gets a bit boring” —Finn, 10 years, “ I absolutely hate maths … ‘cause it’s boring ”—Paige, 8 years). It could be that children with ADHD find it more difficult to concentrate during activities they find boring. Indeed, when Jay (7 years) was asked how it made him feel when he found something boring, he said “ it made me not do my work ”. Some children also alluded to the social difficulties faced at school, which included bullying and difficulties making friends (e.g. “ just making all kind of friends [is difficult] ‘cause the only friend that I’ve got is [name redacted] ”—Nathan, 8 years; “ sometimes finding a friend to play with at break time [is difficult] ” – Paige, 8 years; “ there’s a lot of people in my school that they bully me” —Eric, 10 years).

When asked what they thought were the child’s biggest challenges at school, teachers' responses were relatively variable, although some common themes were identified. As was the case for children, teachers reflected on difficulties with attention, which also included being able to sit at the table for long periods of time (e.g. “ I would say he struggles the most with sitting at his table and focusing on one piece of work ”—Henry’s teacher). Teachers did also mention difficulties with subjects such as maths and literacy, although this varied from child to child, and often they discussed these in the context of their ADHD symptom-related difficulties. For example, Eric’s teacher said, “ we’ve struggled to get a long piece of writing out of him because he just can’t really sit for very long ”. This quote also alludes to difficulties with evaluating the child’s academic abilities, due to their ADHD-related difficulties, which was supported by other teachers (e.g. “ He doesn’t particularly enjoy writing and he’s slow, very slow. And I don’t know if that’s down to attention or if that’s something he actually does find difficult to do ” —Henry’s teacher). Furthermore, some teachers reflected on the child’s confidence as opposed to a direct academic difficulty. For example, Luna’s teacher said, “ I think it’s she lacks the confidence in maths and reading like the most ” and later, elaborated with “ she’ll be like “I can’t do it” but she actually can. Sometimes she’s … even just anxious at doing a task where she thinks … she might not get it. But she does, she’s just not got that confidence”.

Teachers also commonly mentioned social difficulties, and referred to these difficulties as a barrier to collaborative learning activities (e.g. “ he doesn’t always work well with other people and other people can get frustrated” —Henry’s teacher; “ [during] collaborative group work [Paige] perhaps goes off task and does things she shouldn’t necessarily be doing and that can cause friction within the group” —Paige’s teacher). Teachers also mentioned emotion regulation, mostly in relation to the child’s social difficulties. For example, Eric’s teacher said “ I think as well he does still struggle with his emotions like getting angry very very quickly, and being very defensive when actually he’s taken the situation the wrong way” , which suggests that the child’s difficulty with regulating emotions may impact on their social relationships.

Strategy Use in the Classroom

Strategies to support learning fell into one of four categories: concrete or visual resources, information processing, seating and movement, and support from or influence of others. Examples of codes included in each of these strategy categories are presented in Table 2 .

Concrete or visual resources were the most commonly mentioned type of strategy by teachers and children, referring to the importance of having physical representations to support learning. Teachers spoke about the benefit of using visual aids (e.g. “ I think [Henry] is quite visual so making sure that there is visual prompts and clues and things like that to help him ”—Henry’s teacher), and teachers and children alluded to these resources supporting difficulties with holding information in mind. For example, when talking about the times table squares he uses, Rory said “ sometimes I forget which one I’m on…and it’s easier for me to have my finger next to it than just doing it in my head because sometimes I would need to start doing it all over again ”.

Seating and movement were also commonly mentioned, which seemed to be specific to children with ADHD in that it was linked to inattention and hyperactivity symptoms. For example, teachers referred to supporting attention or avoiding distraction by the positioning of a child’s location in the classroom (e.g. “ he’s so easily distracted, so he has an individual desk in the room and he’s away from everyone else because he wasn’t coping at a table [and] he’s been so much more settled since we got him an individual desk” —Eric’s teacher). Some teachers also mentioned the importance of allowing children to move around the room where feasible, as well as giving them errands to perform as a movement break (e.g. “ if I need something from the printer, [Nathan] is gonna go for it for me…because that’s down the stairs and then back up the stairs so if I think he’s getting a bit chatty or he’s not focused I’ll ask him to go and just give him that break as well” —Nathan’s teacher). Children also spoke about these strategies but didn’t necessarily describe why or how these strategies help them.

Information processing and cognitive strategies included methods that supported children to process learning content or instructions. For example, teachers frequently mentioned breaking down tasks or instructions into more manageable chunks (e.g. “ with my instructions to [Eric] I break them down … I’ll be like “we’re doing this and then we’re doing this” whereas the whole class wouldn’t need that ”—Eric’s teacher). Teachers and children also mentioned using memory strategies such as songs, rhymes or prompts. For example, Jay’s teacher said, “ if I was one of the other children I could see why it would be very distracting but he’s like he’s singing to himself little times table songs that we’ve been learning in class” , and Paige (8 years) referred to using mnemonics to help with words she struggles to spell, “ I keep forgetting [the word] because. But luckily we got the story big elephants can always understand little elephants [which helps because] the first letter of every word spells because” .

Both groups of participants mentioned support from and influence of others, and referred to working with peers, the teacher–child relationship, and one-to-one teaching. Peer support was a common theme across the data and is discussed in more detail in the thematic analysis findings, where teachers and children referred to the importance of the role of peers during learning activities. Understanding the child well and adapting to them was also seen as important, for example, Luna’s teacher said, “ with everything curricular [I] try and have an art element for her, just so I know it’ll engage her [because] if it’s like a boring old written worksheet she’s not gonna do it unless you’re sitting beside her and you’re basically telling her the answers” . As indicated in this quote, teachers also referred to the effectiveness of one-to-one or small group work with the child (e.g. “ when somebody sits beside her and explains it, and goes “come on [Paige] you know how to do this, let’s just work through a couple of examples”… her focus is generally better ” – Paige’s teacher), however this resource is not always available (e.g. “ I’d love for someone to be one-to-one with [Luna] but it’s just not available, she doesn’t meet that criteria apparently ” – Luna’s teacher). Children also referred to seeking direct support from their teacher (e.g. “if I can’t get an idea of what I’m doing then I ask the teacher for help” – Paige, 8 years), but were more likely to mention seeking support from their peers than the teacher.

Thematic Analysis

In addition to summarising the types of strategies that teachers and children reported using in the classroom, the data were also analysed using thematic analysis to generate themes. These are now presented. The theme names, definitions, and example quotes for each theme are presented in Table 3 .

Theme 1: Classroom-General Versus Individual-Specific Strategies

During the interviews, teachers spoke about strategies that they use as part of their teaching practice for the whole class but that are particularly helpful for the child/children with ADHD. These tended to be concrete or visual resources that are available in the classroom for anyone, for example, a visual timetable or routine checklist (e.g. “ there’s also a morning routine and listing down what’s to be done and where it’s to go … it’s very general for the class but again it’s located near her” —Paige’s teacher).

Teachers also mentioned using strategies that have been implemented specifically for that child, and these strategies tended to focus on supporting attention. For example, Nathan’s teacher spoke about the importance of using his name to attract his attention, “ maybe explaining to the class but then making sure that I’m saying “[Nathan], you’re doing this”, you know using his name quite a lot so that he knows it’s his task not just the everybody task ”, and this was a strategy that multiple teachers referred to using with the individual child and not necessarily for other children. Other strategies to support attention with a specific child also tended to be seating and movement related, such as having an individual desk or allowing them to fidget. For example, Luna’s teacher said, “ she’s a fidgeter so she’ll have stuff to fidget with … [and] even if she’s wandering around the classroom or she’s sitting on a table, I don’t let other kids do that, but as long as she’s listening, it’s fine [with me]” .

Similar to teachers, children spoke about strategies or resources that were in place for them specifically as well as about general things in the classroom that they find helpful. That said, it was less common for children to talk about why particular strategies were in place for them and how they helped them directly.

In addition to recognising strategies that teachers had put in place for them, children also referred to using their own strategies in the classroom. The most frequently mentioned strategy was fidgeting, and although some of the younger children spoke about having resources available in the classroom for fidgeting, some of the older children referred to using their own toy or an object that was readily available to them but not intended for fidgeting. For example, Finn (10 years) and Rory (9 years) both spoke about using items from their pencil case to fiddle with, and explained that this would help them to focus. (“ Sometimes I fidget with something I normally just have like a pencil holder under the table moving about … [and] it just keeps my mind clear and not from something else ”—Rory; “ Sometimes I fiddle with my fingers and that sometimes helps, but if not I get one of my coloured pencils and have a little gnaw on it because that actually takes my mind off some things and it’s easier for me to concentrate when I have something to do ”—Finn). Henry (9 years) spoke about being secretive with his fidgeting as it was not permitted in class, “ if you just bring [a fidget toy] in without permission [the teacher will] just take it off of you, so it has to be something that’s not too big. I bring in a little Lego ray which is just small enough that she won’t notice ”. Although some teachers did mention having fidget toys available, not all teachers seemed to recognise the importance of this for the child, and some children viewed fidgeting as a behaviour they should hide from the teacher.

Another strategy mentioned uniquely by children was seeing their peers as a resource for ideas or information. This is discussed in more detail in Theme 3—The role of peers , but reinforces the notion that children also develop their own strategies, independently from their teacher, rather than relying only on what is made available to them.

Theme 2: Heterogeneity of Strategies

Teachers spoke about the need for a variety of strategies in the classroom, for two reasons: (1) that different strategies work for different children (e.g. “ some [strategies] will work for the majority of the children and some just don’t seem to work for any of them ”—Jay’s teacher), and (2) what works for a child on one occasion may not work consistently for the same child (e.g. “ I think it’s a bit of a journey with him, and some things have worked and then stopped working, so I think we’re constantly adapting and changing what we’re doing ”—Eric’s teacher). One example of both of these challenges of strategy use came from Luna’s teacher, who spoke about using a reward chart with Luna and another child with ADHD, “ [Luna] and another boy in my class [with ADHD] both had [a reward chart]… but I think whereas the boy loved his and still loves his, she was getting a bit “oh I’m too cool for this” or that sort of age… so I stopped doing that for her and she’s not missing that at all” . These quotes demonstrate that strategies can work differently for different children, highlighting the need for a variety of strategies for teachers to access and trial with children.

Some children also referred to the variability of whether a strategy was helpful or not; for example, Henry (9 years) said that he finds it helpful to fidget with a toy but that sometimes it can distract him and prevent him from listening to the teacher. He said, “ Well, [the fidget toy] helps but it also gets me into trouble when the teacher spots me building it when I’m listening…but then sometimes I might not listen in maths and [use the fidget toy] which might make it worse”. This highlights that both children and teachers might benefit from support in understanding the contexts in which to use particular strategies, as well as why they are helpful from a psychological perspective.

For teachers, building a relationship with and understanding the child was also highly important in identifying strategies that would work. Luna’s teacher reflected upon the difference in Luna’s behaviour at the start of the academic year, compared to the second academic term, “ at the start of the year, we would just clash the whole time. I didn’t know her, she didn’t know me … and then when we got that bond she was absolutely fine so her behaviour has got way better ”. Eric’s teacher also reflected on how her relationship with Eric had changed, particularly after he received his diagnosis of ADHD, “ I think my approach to him has completely changed. I don’t raise my voice, I speak very calmly, I give him time to calm down before I even broach things with him. I think our relationship’s just got so much better ‘cause I kind of understand … where he’s coming from ”. She also said, “ it just takes a long time to get to know the child and get to know what works for them and trialling different things out ”, which demonstrates that building a relationship with and understanding the child can help to identify the successful strategies that work with different children.

Theme 3: The Role of Peers

Teachers and children spoke about the role of the child’s peers in their learning. Teachers talked about the benefit of partnering the child with good role models (e.g. “ I will put him with a couple of good role models and a couple of children who are patient and who will actually maybe get on with the task, and if [Jay] is not on task or not on board with what they’re doing at least he’s hearing and seeing good behaviour ”—Jay’s teacher), whereas children spoke more about their peers as a source of information, idea generation, or guidance on what to do next. For example, when asked what he does to help him with his writing, Henry (9 years) said, “ [I] listen to what my partner’s saying… my half of the table discuss what they’re going to do so I can literally hear everything they’re doing and steal some of their ideas ”. Henry wasn’t the only child to use their peers as a source of information, for example, Niall (7 years) said, “ I prefer working with the children because some things I might not know and the children might help me give ideas ”, and with a more specific example, Rory (9 years) said, “ somebody chose a very good character for their bit of writing, and I was like “I think I might choose that character”, and somebody else said “my setting was going to be the sea”, and I chose that and put that in a tiny bit of my story ”.

Some children also spoke about getting help from their peers in other ways, particularly when completing a difficult task. Paige (8 years) said, “ if the question isn’t clear I try and figure it out, and if I can’t figure it out then… don’t tell my teacher this but I sometimes get help from my classmates ”, which suggests some guilt associated with asking for help from her peers. This could be related to confidence and self-esteem, which teachers mentioned as a difficulty for some children with ADHD. In some instances, children felt it necessary to directly copy their peers’ work; for example, Nathan (8 years) spoke about needing a physical resource (i.e. “ fuzzies ”) to complete maths problems, but that when none were available he would “ just end up copying other people ”. This could also be related to a lack of confidence, as he may feel as though he may not be able to complete the task on his own. Indeed, Nathan’s teacher mentioned that when he is given the option to choose a task from different difficulty levels, Nathan would typically choose something easier, and that it was important to encourage him to choose something more difficult to build his confidence, “ I quite often say to him “come on I think you can challenge yourself” and [will] use that language”.

Peers clearly play an important role for the children with ADHD, and this is recognised both by the children themselves, and by their teachers. Teachers also mentioned that children with ADHD respond well to one-to-one learning with staff, indicating that it is important for these children to have opportunities to learn in different contexts: whole classroom learning, small group work and one-to-one.

In this study, a number of important topics surrounding ADHD in the primary school setting were explored, including ADHD knowledge, strengths and challenges, and strategy use in the classroom, each of which will now be discussed in turn before drawing together the findings and outlining the implications.

ADHD Knowledge

Knowledge of ADHD varied between children and their teachers. Whilst most of the children claimed to have heard of ADHD, very few could accurately describe the core symptoms. Previous research into this area is limited, however this finding supports Climie and Henley’s ( 2018 ) finding that children’s knowledge of ADHD can be limited. By comparison, all of the interviewed teachers had good knowledge about the core ADHD phenotype (i.e. in relation to diagnostic criteria) and some elaborated further by mentioning social difficulties or description of behaviours that could reflect cognitive difficulties. This supports and builds further upon existing research into teachers’ ADHD knowledge, demonstrating that although teachers understanding may be grounded in a focus upon inattention and hyperactivity, this is not necessarily representative of the range of their knowledge. By interviewing participants about their ADHD knowledge, as opposed to asking them to complete a questionnaire as previous studies have done (Climie & Henley, 2018 ; Latouche & Gascoigne, 2019 ; Ohan et al., 2008 ; Perold et al., 2010 ), the present study has demonstrated the specific areas of knowledge that should be targeted when designing psychoeducation interventions for children and teachers, such as broader aspects of cognitive difficulties in executive functions and memory. Improving knowledge of ADHD in this way could lead to increased positive attitudes and reduction of stigma towards individuals with ADHD (Mueller et al., 2012 ; Ohan et al., 2008 ), and in turn improving adherence to more specified interventions (Bai et al., 2015 ).

Strengths and Challenges

A range of strengths and challenges were discussed, some of which were mentioned by both children and teachers, whilst others were unique to a particular group. The main consensus in the current study was that art and P.E. tended to be the lessons in which children with ADHD thrive the most. Teachers elaborated on this notion, speaking about creative skills, such as a good imagination, and that these skills were sometimes applied in other subjects such as creative writing in literacy. Little to no research has so far focused on the strengths of children with ADHD, therefore these findings identify important areas for future investigation. For example, it is possible that these strengths could be harnessed in educational practice or intervention.

Although a strength for some, literacy was commonly mentioned as a challenge by both groups, specifically in relation to planning, spelling or the physical act of writing. Previous research has repeatedly demonstrated that literacy outcomes are poorer for children with ADHD compared to their typically developing peers (DuPaul et al., 2016; Mayes et al., 2020 ), however in these studies literacy tended to be measured using a composite achievement score, where the nuance of these difficulties can be lost. Furthermore, in line with a recent systematic review and meta-analysis (McDougal et al., 2022 ) the present study’s findings suggest that cognitive difficulties may contribute to poor literacy performance in ADHD. This issue was not unique to literacy, however, as teachers also spoke about academic challenges in the context of ADHD symptoms being a barrier to learning, such as finding it difficult to remain seated long enough to complete a piece of work. Children also raised this issue of engagement, who referred to the most challenging subjects being ‘boring’ for them. This link between attention difficulties and boredom in ADHD has been well documented (Golubchik et al., 2020 ). The findings here demonstrate the need for further research into the underlying cognitive difficulties leading to academic underachievement.

Both children and teachers also mentioned social and emotional difficulties. Research has shown that many different factors may contribute to social difficulties in ADHD (for a review see Gardner & Gerdes, 2015 ), making it a complex issue to disentangle. That said, in the current study teachers tended to attribute the children’s relationship difficulties to behaviour, such as reacting impulsively in social situations, or going off task during group work, both of which could be linked to ADHD symptoms. Despite these difficulties, peers were also considered a positive support. This finding adds to the complexity of understanding social difficulties for children with ADHD, demonstrating the necessity and value of further research into this key area.

The three key themes of classroom-general versus individual-specific strategies , heterogeneity of strategies and the role of peers were identified from the interview transcripts with children and their teachers. Within the first theme, classroom-general versus individual-specific strategies, it was clear that teachers utilise strategies that are specific to the child with ADHD, as well as strategies that are general to the classroom but that are also beneficial to the child with ADHD. Previously, Moore et al. ( 2017 ) found that teachers mostly reflected on using general inclusive strategies, rather than those targeted for ADHD specifically, however the methods differ from the current study in two key ways. Firstly, Moore et al.’s sample included secondary and primary school teachers, for whom the learning environment is very different. Secondly, focus groups were used as opposed to interviews where the voices of some participants can be lost. The merit of the current study is that children were also interviewed using the same questions as teachers; we found that children also referred to these differing types of strategies, and reported finding them useful, suggesting that the reports of teachers were accurate. Interestingly, children also mentioned their own strategies that teachers did not discuss and may not have been aware of. This finding highlights the importance of communication between the child and the teacher, particularly when the child is using a strategy considered to be forbidden or discouraged, for example copying a peer’s work or fidgeting with a toy. This communication would provide an understanding of what the child might find helpful, but more importantly identify areas of difficulty that may need more attention. Further to this, most strategies specific to the child mentioned by teachers aimed to support attention, and few strategies targeted other difficulties, particularly other aspects of cognition such as memory or executive function, which supports previous findings (Lawrence et al., 2017 ). The use of a wide range of individualised strategies would be beneficial to support children with ADHD.

Similarly, the second theme, heterogeneity of strategies , highlighted that some strategies work with some children and not others, and some strategies may not work for the same child consistently. Given the benefit of a wide range of strategy use, for both children with ADHD and their teachers, the development of an accessible tool-kit of strategies would be useful. Importantly, and as recognised in this second theme, knowing the individual child is key to identifying appropriate strategies, highlighting the essential role of the child’s teacher in supporting ADHD. Teachers mostly spoke about this in relation to the child’s interests and building rapport, however this could also be applied to the child’s cognitive profile. A tool-kit of available strategies and knowledge of which difficulties they support, as well as how to identify these difficulties, would facilitate teachers to continue their invaluable support for children and young people with ADHD. This links to the importance of psychoeducation; as previously discussed, the teachers in our study had a good knowledge of the core ADHD phenotype, but few spoke about the cognitive strengths and difficulties of ADHD. Children and their teachers could benefit from psychoeducation, that is, understanding ADHD in more depth (i.e., broader cognitive and behavioural profiles beyond diagnostic criteria), what ADHD and any co-occurrences might mean for the individual child, and why certain strategies are helpful. Improving knowledge using psychoeducation is known to improve fidelity to interventions (Dahl et al., 2020 ; Nussey et al., 2013 ), suggesting that this would facilitate children and their teachers to identify effective strategies and maintain these in the long-term.

The third theme, the role of peers , called attention to the importance of classmates for children with ADHD, and this was recognised by both children and their teachers. As peers play a role in the learning experience for children with ADHD, it is important to ensure that children have opportunities to learn in small group contexts with their peers. This finding is supported by Vygotsky’s ( 1978 ) Zone of Proximal Development; it is well established in the literature that children can benefit from completing learning activities with a partner, especially a more able peer (Vygotsky, 1978 ).

Relevance of Co-Occurrences

Co-occurring conditions are common in ADHD (Jensen & Steinhausen, 2015 ), and there are many instances within the data presented here that may reflect these co-occurrences, in particular, the overlap with DCD and ASD. For ADHD and DCD, the overlap is considered to be approximately 50% (Goulardins et al., 2015 ), whilst ADHD and autism also frequently co-occur with rates ranging from 40 to 70% (Antshel & Russo, 2019 ). It was not an aim of the current study to directly examine co-occurrences, however it is important to recognise their relevance when interpreting the findings. Indeed, in the current sample, scores for seven children (70%) indicated a high likelihood of movement difficulty. One child scored above the cut-off for autism diagnosis referral on the AQ-10, indicating heightened autism symptoms. Further to this, some of the discussions with children and teachers seemed to be related to DCD or autism, for example, the way that they can react in social situations, or difficulties with the physical act of handwriting. This finding feeds into the ongoing narrative surrounding heterogeneity within ADHD and individualisation of strategies to support learning. Recognising the potential role of co-occurrences should therefore be a vital part of any psychoeducation programme for children with ADHD and their teachers.


Whilst a strong sample size was achieved for the current study allowing for rich data to be generated, it is important to acknowledge the issue of representativeness. The heterogeneity of ADHD is recognised throughout the current study, however the current study represents only a small cohort of children and young people with ADHD and their teachers which should be considered when interpreting the findings, particularly in relation to generalisation. Future research should investigate the issues raised using quantitative methods. Also on this point of heterogeneity, although we report some co-occurring symptoms for participants, the number of co-occurrences considered here were limited to autism and DCD. Learning disabilities and other disorders may play a role, however due to the qualitative nature of this study it was not feasible to collect data on every potential co-occurrence. Future quantitative work should aim to understand the complex interplay of diagnosed and undiagnosed co-occurrences.

Furthermore, only some of the teachers of participating children took part in the study; we were not able to recruit all 10. It may be, for example, that the six teachers who did take part were motivated to do so based on their existing knowledge or commitment to understanding ADHD, and the fact that not all child-teacher dyads are represented in the current study should be recognised. Another possibility is the impact of time pressures upon participation for teachers, particularly given the increasing number of children with complex needs within classes. Outcomes leading from the current study could support teachers in this respect.

It is also important to recognise the potential role of stimulant medication. Although it was not an aim of the current study to investigate knowledge or the role of stimulant medication in the classroom setting, it would have been beneficial to record whether the interviewed children were taking medication for their ADHD at school, particularly given the evidence to suggest that stimulant medication can improve cognitive and behavioural symptoms of ADHD (Rhodes et al., 2004 ). Examining strategy use in isolation (i.e. with children who are drug naïve or pausing medication) will be a vital aim of future intervention work.

Implications/Future Research

Taking the findings of the whole study together, one clear implication is that children and their teachers could benefit from psychoeducation, that is, understanding ADHD in more depth (i.e., broader cognitive and behavioural profiles beyond diagnostic criteria), what ADHD might mean for the individual child, and why certain strategies are helpful. Improving knowledge using psychoeducation is known to improve fidelity to interventions (Dahl et al., 2020 ; Nussey et al., 2013 ), suggesting that this would facilitate children and their teachers to identify effective strategies and maintain these in the long-term.

To improve knowledge and understanding of both strengths and difficulties in ADHD, future research should aim to develop interventions grounded in psychoeducation, in order to support children and their teachers to better understand why and in what contexts certain strategies are helpful in relation to ADHD. Furthermore, future research should focus on the development of a tool-kit of strategies to account for the heterogeneity in ADHD populations; we know from the current study’s findings that it is not appropriate to offer a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting children with ADHD given that not all strategies work all of the time, nor do they always work consistently. In terms of implications for educational practice, it is clear that understanding the individual child in the context of their ADHD and any co-occurrences is important for any teacher working with them. This will facilitate teachers to identify and apply appropriate strategies to support learning which may well result in different strategies depending on the scenario, and different strategies for different children. Furthermore, by understanding that ADHD is just one aspect of the child, strategies can be used flexibly rather than assigning strategies based on a child’s diagnosis.

This study has provided invaluable novel insight into understanding and supporting children with ADHD in the classroom. Importantly, these insights have come directly from children with ADHD and their teachers, demonstrating the importance of conducting qualitative research with these groups. The findings provide clear scope for future research, as well as guidelines for successful intervention design and educational practice, at the heart of which we must acknowledge and embrace the heterogeneity and associated strengths and challenges within ADHD.

Allison, C., Auyeung, B., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2012). Autism spectrum quotient: 10 items (AQ-10). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry., 51 (2), 202–212.

Article   PubMed   Google Scholar  

Antshel, K. M., & Russo, N. (2019). Autism spectrum disorders and ADHD: Overlapping phenomenology, diagnostic issues, and treatment considerations. Current Psychiatry Reports, 21 (5), 34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1020-5

Arnold, L. E., Hodgkins, P., Kahle, J., Madhoo, M., & Kewley, G. (2020). Long-term outcomes of ADHD: Academic achievement and performance. Journal of Attention Disorders, 24 (1), 73–85. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054714566076

Bai, G., Yang, L., Wang, Y., & Niu, W.-Y. (2015). Effectiveness of a focused, brief psychoeducation program for parents of ADHD children: Improvement of medication adherence and symptoms. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, . https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S88625

Article   PubMed   PubMed Central   Google Scholar  

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3 (2), 77–101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Article   Google Scholar  

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2019). Reflecting on reflexive thematic analysis. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 11 (4), 589–597. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2019.1628806

Classi, P., Milton, D., Ward, S., Sarsour, K., & Johnston, J. (2012). Social and emotional difficulties in children with ADHD and the impact on school attendance and healthcare utilization. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 6 (1), 33. https://doi.org/10.1186/1753-2000-6-33

Climie, E. A., & Henley, L. (2018). Canadian parents and children’s knowledge of ADHD. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 13 (3), 266–275. https://doi.org/10.1080/17450128.2018.1484975

Coghill, D. R., Seth, S., & Matthews, K. (2014). A comprehensive assessment of memory, delay aversion, timing, inhibition, decision making and variability in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Advancing beyond the three-pathway models. Psychological Medicine, 44 (9), 1989–2001. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291713002547

Conners, C. K., & Multi-Health Systems Inc. (2008). Conners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scales (Conners CBRS): Manual . North Tonawanda, N.Y: Multi-Health Systems.

Dahl, V., Ramakrishnan, A., Spears, A. P., Jorge, A., Lu, J., Bigio, N. A., & Chacko, A. (2020). Psychoeducation interventions for parents and teachers of children and adolescents with ADHD: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 32 (2), 257–292. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-019-09691-3

DuPaul, G. J., Eckert, T. L., & Vilardo, B. (2012). The effects of school-based interventions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A meta-analysis. School Psychology Review, 41 (4), 387412. https://doi.org/10.1080/02796015.2012.12087496

Gardner, D. M., & Gerdes, A. C. (2015). A review of peer relationships and friendships in youth with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 19 (10), 844–855. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054713501552

Gathercole, S. E., Astle, D. A., Manly, T., the CALM Team, & Holmes, J. (2018). Cognition and behaviour in learning difficulties and ADHD: A dimensional approach [Preprint]. Animal Behavior and Cognition . https://doi.org/10.1101/260265

Golubchik, P., Manor, I., Shoval, G., & Weizman, A. (2020). Levels of proneness to boredom in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder on and off methylphenidate treatment. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 30 (3), 173–176. https://doi.org/10.1089/cap.2019.0151

Goulardins, J. B., Rigoli, D., Licari, M., Piek, J. P., Hasue, R. H., Oosterlaan, J., & Oliveira, J. A. (2015). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and developmental coordination disorder: Two separate disorders or do they share a common etiology. Behavioural Brain Research, 292 , 484–492. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2015.07.009

Henderson, S. E., Sugden, D. A., & Barnett, A. L. (2007). Movement assessment battery for children – (2nd ed.). Harcourt Assessment.

Google Scholar  

Jensen, C. M., & Steinhausen, H.-C. (2015). Comorbid mental disorders in children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in a large nationwide study. ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders, 7 (1), 27–38. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12402-014-0142-1

Jones, H. A., & Chronis-Tuscano, A. (2008). Efficacy of teacher in-service training for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Teacher in-service training for ADHD. Psychology in the Schools, 45 (10), 918–929. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.20342

Kuriyan, A. B., Jr., Molina, B. S. G., Waschbusch, D. A., Gnagy, E. M., Sibley, M. H., Babinski, D. E., Walther, C., Cheong, J., Yu, J., & Kent, K. M. (2013). Young adult educational and vocational outcomes of children diagnosed with ADHD. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41 , 27–41. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-012-9658-z

Latouche, A. P., & Gascoigne, M. (2019). In-service training for increasing teachers’ ADHD knowledge and self-efficacy. Journal of Attention Disorders, 23 (3), 270–281. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054717707045

Law, G. U., Sinclair, S., & Fraser, N. (2007). Children’s attitudes and behavioural intentions towards a peer with symptoms of ADHD: Does the addition of a diagnostic label make a difference? Journal of Child Health Care, 11 (2), 98–111. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367493507076061

Lawrence, K., Estrada, R. D., & McCormick, J. (2017). Teachers’ experiences with and perceptions of students with Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 36 , 141–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2017.06.010

Mayes, S. D., Waschbusch, D. A., Calhoun, S. L., & Mattison, R. E. (2020). Correlates of academic overachievement, nondiscrepant achievement, and learning disability in ADHD, autism, and general population samples. Exceptionality, 28 (1), 60–75. https://doi.org/10.1080/09362835.2020.1727324

McDougal, E., Gracie, H., Oldridge, J., Stewart, T. M., Booth, J. N., & Rhodes, S. M. (2022). Relationships between cognition and literacy in children with attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. British Journal of Developmental Psychology , 40 (1), 130–150. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12395

McDougal, E., Riby, D. M., & Hanley, M. (2020). Teacher insights into the barriers and facilitators of learning in autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 79 , 101674. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2020.101674

Mohr-Jensen, C., Steen-Jensen, T., Bang-Schnack, M., & Thingvad, H. (2019). What do primary and secondary school teachers know about ADHD in children? Findings from a systematic review and a representative, nationwide sample of Danish teachers. Journal of Attention Disorders, 23 (3), 206–219. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054715599206

Moore, D. A., Russell, A. E., Arnell, S., & Ford, T. J. (2017). Educators’ experiences of managing students with ADHD: A qualitative study: Educators’ management of ADHD. Child: Care, Health and Development, 43 (4), 489–498. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12448

Mueller, A. K., Fuermaier, A. B., Koerts, J., & Tucha, L. (2012). Stigma in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders, 4 (3), 101–114. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12402-012-0085-3

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). (2018). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Diagnosis and management . Retrieved August 2021, from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng87/chapter/Recommendations#managing-adhd .

Nussey, C., Pistrang, N., & Murphy, T. (2013). How does psychoeducation help? A review of the effects of providing information about Tourette syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A review of psychoeducational approaches in TS and ADHD. Child Care, Health and Development, 39 (5), 617–627. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12039

Ohan, J. L., Cormier, N., Hepp, S. L., Visser, T. A. W., & Strain, M. C. (2008). Does knowledge about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder impact teachers’ reported behaviors and perceptions? School Psychology Quarterly, 23 (3), 436–449. https://doi.org/10.1037/1045-3830.23.3.436

Perold, M., Louw, C., & Kleynhans, S. (2010). Primary school teachers’ knowledge and misperceptions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). South African Journal of Education, 30 (3), 457–473.

Rhodes, S. M., Coghill, D. R., & Matthews, K. (2004). Methylphenidate restores visual memory, but not working memory function in attention deficit-hyperkinetic disorder. Psychopharmacology (berl), 175 (3), 319–330. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-004-1833-7

Rhodes, S. M., Park, J., Seth, S., & Coghill, D. R. (2012). A comprehensive investigation of memory impairment in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder: Memory in ADHD and ODD. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53 (2), 128–137. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02436.x

Richardson, M., Moore, D. A., Gwernan-Jones, R., Thompson-Coon, J., Ukoumunne, O., Rogers, M., Whear, R., Newlove-Delgado, T. V., Logan, S., Morris, C., Taylor, E., Cooper, P., Stein, K., Garside, R., & Ford, T. J. (2015). Non-pharmacological interventions for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) delivered in school settings: Systematic reviews of quantitative and qualitative research. Health Technology Assessment, 19 (45), 1–470. https://doi.org/10.3310/hta19450

Russell, G., Rodgers, L. R., Ukoumunne, O. C., & Ford, T. (2014). Prevalence of parent-reported ASD and ADHD in the UK: Findings from the millennium cohort Study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44 (1), 31–40. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1849-0

Sayal, K., Prasad, V., Daley, D., Ford, T., & Coghill, D. (2018). ADHD in children and young people: Prevalence, care pathways, and service provision. The Lancet. Psychiatry, 5 (2), 175–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30167-0

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes . Harvard University Press.

Wiener, J., Malone, M., Varma, A., Markel, C., Biondic, D., Tannock, R., & Humphries, T. (2012). Children’s perceptions of their ADHD symptoms: Positive illusions, attributions, and stigma. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 27 (3), 217–242. https://doi.org/10.1177/0829573512451972

Download references

The funding was provided by Waterloo Foundation Grant Nos. (707-3732, 707-4340, 707-4614).

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, Child Life and Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Emily McDougal, Claire Tai & Sinéad M. Rhodes

Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Tracy M. Stewart & Josephine N. Booth

School of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom

Emily McDougal

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar


E.M. Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Data Curation, Formal Analysis, Writing - original draft, C.T. Formal Analysis, Writing - review & editing, T.M.S., J.N.B. and S.M.R. Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing - review & editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sinéad M. Rhodes .

Additional information

Publisher's note.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Interview Schedule—Teacher


How many years have you been teaching?

Are you currently teaching pupils with ADHD and around how many?

If yes, do you feel competent/comfortable/equipped teaching pupils with ADHD?

If no, how competent/comfortable/equipped would you feel to teach pupils with ADHD?

Would you say your experience of teaching pupils with ADHD is small/moderate/significant?


What is your understanding of ADHD/Can you describe a typical child with ADHD?

Probe behaviour knowledge

Probe cognition knowledge

Probe impacts of behaviour/cognition difficulties

Probe knowledge that children with ADHD differ from each other

Probe knowledge that children with ADHD have co-occurring difficulties as the norm

(If they do have some knowledge) Where did you learn about ADHD?

e.g. specific training, professional experience, personal experience, personal interest/research

Cognitive skills and strategies

Can you tell me about the pupil’s strengths?

Can you tell me about the pupil’s biggest challenges/what they need most support with?

When you are supporting the pupil with their learning, are there any specific things you do to help them? (i.e. strategies)

Probe internal

Probe external

Probe whether they think those not mentioned might be useful/feasible/challenges

Probe if different for different subjects/times of the day

In your experience, which of these you have mentioned are the most useful for the pupil?

Probe for examples of how they apply it to their learning

Probe whether these strategies are pupil specific or broadly relevant

Probe if specific to particular subjects/times of the day

In your experience, which of these you have mentioned are the least useful for the pupil?

What would you like to be able to support the pupil with that you don’t already do?

Probe why they can’t access this currently e.g. lack of training, resources, knowledge, time

Is there anything you would like to understand better about ADHD?

Probe behaviour

Probe cognition

Interview Schedule—Child

Script: We’re going to have a chat about a few different things today, mostly about your time at school. This will include things like how you get on, how you think, things you’re good at and things you find more difficult. I’ve got some questions here to ask you but try to imagine that I’m just a friend that you’re talking to about these things. There are no right or wrong answers, I’m just interested in what you’ve got to say. Do you have any questions?

Script: First we’re going to talk about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Have you ever heard of/has anyone ever told you what ADHD is?

(If yes) If a friend asked you to tell them what ADHD is, what would you tell them?

Is there anything you would like to know more about ADHD?

Cognition/strategy use

Script: Now we’re going to talk about something a bit different. Everyone has things they are good at, and things they find more difficult. For example, I’m quite good at listening to what people have to say, but I’m not so good at remembering people’s names. I’d like you to think about when you’re in school, and things you’re good at and things you are not so good at. It doesn’t just have to be lessons, it can be anything.

Do you like school?

Probe why/why not?

Probe favourite lessons

What sort of things do you find you do well at in school?

Is there anything you think that you find more difficult in school?

Probe: If I asked your teacher/parent what you find difficult, what would they say?

Probe: Is there anything at school you need extra help with?

Probe: Is there anything you do to help yourself with that?

Script: Some people do things to try to help themselves do things well. For example, when someone tells me a number to remember, I repeat it in my head over and over again.

Can you try to describe to me what you do to help you do these things?

Solving a maths problem

Planning your writing

Doing spellings

Trying to remember something

Concentrating/ignoring distractions

Listening to the teacher

Remaining seated in class when doing work

Working with other children in the class

Probe: Do you use anything in lessons to help you with your work?

Probe: What kind of things do you think could help you with your work?

Probe: Is there anything you do at home, such as when you’re doing your homework, to help you finish what you are doing to do it well?

Probe: Does someone help you with your homework at home? If yes, what do they do that helps? If no, what do you think someone could do to help?

Script: In this last part we’re going to talk about your time at school.

How many teachers are in your class?

Is there anyone who helps you with your work?

Do you work mostly on your own or in groups?

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ .

Reprints and permissions

About this article

McDougal, E., Tai, C., Stewart, T.M. et al. Understanding and Supporting Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the Primary School Classroom: Perspectives of Children with ADHD and their Teachers. J Autism Dev Disord 53 , 3406–3421 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-022-05639-3

Download citation

Accepted : 06 June 2022

Published : 01 July 2022

Issue Date : September 2023

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-022-05639-3

Share this article

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Child and teacher interviews
  • Strengths and difficulties
  • Learning strategies
  • Find a journal
  • Publish with us
  • Track your research
  • Undergraduate
  • High School
  • Architecture
  • American History
  • Asian History
  • Antique Literature
  • American Literature
  • Asian Literature
  • Classic English Literature
  • World Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Linguistics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Legal Issues
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Political Science
  • World Affairs
  • African-American Studies
  • East European Studies
  • Latin-American Studies
  • Native-American Studies
  • West European Studies
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Social Issues
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Social Work
  • Natural Sciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Earth science
  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural Studies
  • Computer Science
  • IT Management
  • Mathematics
  • Investments
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Engineering
  • Aeronautics
  • Medicine and Health
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Communications and Media
  • Advertising
  • Communication Strategies
  • Public Relations
  • Educational Theories
  • Teacher's Career
  • Chicago/Turabian
  • Company Analysis
  • Education Theories
  • Shakespeare
  • Canadian Studies
  • Food Safety
  • Relation of Global Warming and Extreme Weather Condition
  • Movie Review
  • Admission Essay
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Application Essay
  • Article Critique
  • Article Review
  • Article Writing
  • Book Review
  • Business Plan
  • Business Proposal
  • Capstone Project
  • Cover Letter
  • Creative Essay
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation - Abstract
  • Dissertation - Conclusion
  • Dissertation - Discussion
  • Dissertation - Hypothesis
  • Dissertation - Introduction
  • Dissertation - Literature
  • Dissertation - Methodology
  • Dissertation - Results
  • GCSE Coursework
  • Grant Proposal
  • Marketing Plan
  • Multiple Choice Quiz
  • Personal Statement
  • Power Point Presentation
  • Power Point Presentation With Speaker Notes
  • Questionnaire
  • Reaction Paper

Research Paper

  • Research Proposal
  • SWOT analysis
  • Thesis Paper
  • Online Quiz
  • Literature Review
  • Movie Analysis
  • Statistics problem
  • Math Problem
  • All papers examples
  • How It Works
  • Money Back Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • We Are Hiring

Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Research Paper Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1756

Hire a Writer for Custom Research Paper

Use 10% Off Discount: "custom10" in 1 Click 👇

You are free to use it as an inspiration or a source for your own work.

Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental illness that is characterized by the lack of the ability of an individual to concentrate or stay still. This is a problematic disorder for all individuals that have been diagnosed with it, but it is particularly difficult for students with the disease to participate in school activities. The symptoms of ADHD are commonly mistaken for learning disabilities, as the individuals who exhibit them often demonstrate difficulty with learning. However, these symptoms are not related to learning impairment and result in an impaired ability to learn because these individuals are not able to concentrate in the same way as their peers.

Many individuals believe that ADHD is not a real disorder and is simply a term that is assigned to children who are not able to follow rules or behave properly (Schonwald 189). While many children would be classified as having some type of behavior problem according to current behavioral standards, ADHD is present in only those that demonstrate that their lack of focus and attention in addition to their large amounts of energy is impacting with their ability to learn normally (Ramsay 25). Many energetic children can be directed to focus on their studies, and after several tries, a teacher or a parent will be successful. However, children with ADHD often cannot gain this focus at any point in time, indicating that there is a clinical problem.

ADHD is typically diagnosed when a parent, friend, or teacher observes that the behavior patterns exhibited by an individual is not characteristic for his or her age. In order to confirm this diagnosis, the individual will typically travel to a psychologist to be evaluated. A series of tests will be conducted that attempt to assess whether the child is simply energetic and cannot always retain focus or whether there is a chronic problem. The psychologists will use a combination of these tests in addition to self-assessment from the patient and observations from friends and family to make the diagnosis. Many medical professionals believe that ADHD could be treated in part through therapy sessions that aim to adjust reactions to certain stimuli, while others believe that because the illness has a biological basis, medication is the only effective treatment method. Yet, other parties believe that a combination of therapy and medicine is the only proper way to treat ADHD.

The individuals that claim that ADHD is not a real disease do not understand the biological aspects of this illness. Studies have shown that the brains of children with ADHD are typically physically smaller than individuals without the disease (Cohen 5). In particular, the prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum are reduced in size and are therefore not able to achieve the expected connectivity with the other areas of the brain. Ultimately, this leads to chemical imbalances with regards to the neurotransmitters that are responsible for sending messages to the different parents of the brain. Individuals without ADHD use some of these signals to know when they should stop their behaviors, but children and adults with this disorder do not experience the same signaling process (Curatolo 79). Therefore they are unable to stop their behaviors in the same manner as normal children and adults, which is in part because they are simply unable to comprehend that the behaviors they are exhibiting are wrong.

Ultimately, psychological treatment and medical treatment would not be effective to treat individuals with ADHD if this were not a real disease. When people diagnose with this illness have gone under treatment, they have demonstrated clear progress in behavior. Therapy is meant to allow these individuals to recognize which behaviors they are exhibiting and how they differ from their peers. They are then given ways to recognize when they are acting inappropriately and educated about how these situations could be prevented or rectified. In many situations, therapy alone is only ideal for cases of ADHD in which patients exhibit only slight symptoms. The purpose of the medication is to in part, rectify the problems that are occurring with the brain’s chemistry in these patients. In patients that exhibit severe symptoms, it is often difficult for them to be able to benefit from therapy because they may continue to exhibit these behaviors during the learning process, which impairs these therapy goals. Therefore, they may be provided medication to lesson these symptoms to make therapy more effective. The particular treatment that is assigned to an individual suffering from ADHD depends on the professional opinions of psychologists and psychiatrists, who collaborate to determine the severity of the symptoms and the best way to allow the child or adult to function in a normal school or work environment (Sim 615).

Professionals attempt to diagnose individuals with ADHD using criteria from a book called the DSM-IV. Some professionals prefer to use this book for mental disorders, while others opt to use the newer addition of this publication called the DSM-V. As a whole, this document describes ADHD as “persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development” (CDC, n.d.). For ADHD to be diagnosed by a professional, they must observe that these symptoms have been occurring over a long period of time. Therefore, one of the primary criterion for this diagnosis is that individuals must exhibit six or more of the following symptoms: they must not be able to give complete attention to details or make unanticipated mistakes at their jobs, in school, or in other functions; they must often not appear to listen to verbal directions despite repeated attempts; they must not frequently follow directions which leads to them not completing projects that they have started and are expected to finish; they frequently have trouble organizing tasks and activities; they often ignore and do not enjoy work that requires a lot of thought; they frequently misplace objects that are necessary to complete their responsibilities; they are frequently and easily distracted; they are frequently generally forgetful with regards to daily activities (CDC, n.d.). While many of these situations are exhibited by children or adults at some point, individuals with ADHD repeat many of these behaviors over a long period of time, which interferes with their ability to function in school or at work. Therefore, children with ADHD are typically diagnosed by teachers or other members of school staff because they are most likely to pick up on these behaviors before the parents. It is often an educator or a school psychologists who arranges the appointment for the formal diagnosis with the parent.

An additional symptom of ADHD is hyperactivity and impulsivity. According to the psychologist’s diagnostic manual, the following symptoms must be met, demonstrating inappropriate behavior for the child’s age level: they are frequently not able to stay still and must play with objects or move in their seat; they frequently travel away from their seats when remaining seated is appropriate; they are not able to play quietly; they must frequently talk or move; they respond to questions in class before they have fully completed the question; they have difficulty taking turns; they frequently invade the space of others (CDC, n.d.). Again, many individuals believe that these symptoms do not signify ADHD because they understand that some children exhibit these behaviors normally. While this is true in some cases, children with ADHD exhibit a majority of these symptoms, which have been repeated over a long period of time. These individuals are generally those who are unable to remain seated and quiet in school, which may interfere with the learning process of both themselves and of their peers. Individuals with ADHD exhibit some symptoms that overlap with other disorders, so it is necessary for the health care professional to rule out these other options before confirming a diagnosis of the disease (Greathead).

Despite the attempts of many individuals to deny the existence of ADHD, it is clear that this cannot be done. There are many environmental and biological factors that contribute to the development of the illness, and these factors are evident upon medical and psychological examination. It is therefore necessary to avoid demonizing both individuals with this disorder in addition to their families for psychological impacts that are beyond their control. It is instead important to work towards building an understanding of how individuals with ADHD can be helped and to understand the challenges that they face on a daily basis.

One of the most beneficial solutions to addressing the ADHD problem is modifying educational practices to cater to individuals that need to exert their energy, rather than sitting quietly in the classroom and listening. Many activities can be made for the whole class that will enable this type of engagement and promote learning. For example, activities that require standing and sitting to say “yes” or “no” to a question would be beneficial because it allows students with ADHD to move around. Since they are likely to do so without permission, it is necessary to take control of the situation by allowing this behavior, but assigning rules to it first. In addition, children with ADHD occasionally wish to stand as they write, which should be considered acceptable, provided that they are not disturbing their classmates. These solutions can only be reached once we understand that ADHD is not simply a behavior problem that children choose to enact, rather it is a consequence of complex environmental and biological factors that are beyond our control.

In conclusion, ADHD is a real disorder that must be taken very seriously. It is detrimental to the individuals with this illness to pretend that it does not exist. While many children do exhibit behavior problems from time to time and do not have ADHD, we must be aware that those with repetitive behavior problems have the disease and should be provided with help to alleviate some of these symptoms. These individuals can be helped by spreading an understanding that they are not misbehaving on purpose and that we should assist their learning by finding the methods that work best for them.

Works Cited

CDC. Symptoms and Diagnosis. N.D. Web. 24 April 2015.           <http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html>

Cohen DJ. Cicchetti D, ed. Developmental Psychopathology, Developmental Neuroscience (2nd,illustrated ed.). John Wiley & Sons, 2006.

Curatolo P, D’Agati E, Moavero R. The neurobiological basis of ADHD. Ital J Pediatr 36(2010): 79.

Greathead, Philippa. Language Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. 6 November 2013. Web. 24 April 2015. <http://www.addiss.co.uk/languagedisorders.htm>.

Ramsay JR. Cognitive behavioral therapy for adult ADHD. Routledge, 2007.

Schonwald A, Lechner E. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: complexities and controversies. Curr. Opin. Pediatr . 18.2(2006):189–195.

Sim MG, Hulse G, Khong E. When the child with ADHD grows up. Aust Fam Physician  33.8 (2014): 615–618.

Stuck with your Research Paper?

Get in touch with one of our experts for instant help!

German Americans, Essay Example

American Airlines Demographic Information, Research Paper Example

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Plagiarism-free guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Secure checkout

Money back guarantee


Related Research Paper Samples & Examples

The risk of teenagers smoking, research paper example.

Pages: 11

Words: 3102

Impacts on Patients and Healthcare Workers in Canada, Research Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1839

Death by Neurological Criteria, Research Paper Example

Words: 2028

Ethical Considerations in End-Of-Life Care, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1391

Ethical Dilemmas in Brain Death, Research Paper Example

Words: 2005

Politics of Difference and the Case of School Uniforms, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 631

162 ADHD Essay Topics & Examples

Looking for ADHD topics to write about? ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a very common condition nowadays. It is definitely worth analyzing.

🔝 Top 10 ADHD Research Topics

🏆 best adhd essay examples, 💡 most interesting adhd topics to write about, 🎓 exciting adhd essay topics, 🔥 hot adhd topics to write about, 👍 adhd research paper topics, ❓ research questions about adhd.

In your ADHD essay, you might want to focus on the causes or symptoms of this condition. Another idea is to concentrate on the treatments for ADHD in children and adults. Whether you are looking for an ADHD topic for an argumentative essay, a research paper, or a dissertation, our article will be helpful. We’ve collected top ADHD essay examples, research paper titles, and essay topics on ADHD.

  • ADHD and its subtypes
  • The most common symptoms of ADHD
  • The causes of ADHD: genetics, environment, or both?
  • ADHD and the changes in brain structures
  • ADHD and motivation
  • Treating ADHD: the new trends
  • Behavioral therapy as ADHD treatment
  • Natural remedies for ADHD
  • ADD vs. ADHD: is there a difference?
  • Living with ADHD: the main challenges
  • Learning Disabilities: Differentiating ADHD and EBD As for the most appropriate setting, it is possible to seat the child near the teacher. It is possible to provide instructions with the help of visual aids.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD / ADHD) Some critics maintain that the condition is a work of fiction by the psychiatric and pharmacists who have taken advantage of distraught families’ attempts to comprehend the behaviour of their children to dramatise the condition.
  • ADHD and Its Effects on the Development of a Child In particular, this research study’s focus is the investigation of the impact of household chaos on the development and behavior of children with ADHD.
  • The History of ADHD Treatment: Drug Addiction Disorders Therefore, the gathered data would be classified by year, treatment type, and gender to better comprehend the statistical distribution of the prevalence of drug addiction.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Recommended Therapy The condition affects the motivational functioning and abnormal cognitive and behavioural components of the brain. Dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex contributed to a lack of alertness and shortened attention in the brain’s short-term memory.
  • Rhetorical Modes Anthology on Attention Deficit Disorder It clearly outlines the origin and early symptoms of the disorder and the scientist who discovered attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Summary & Validity: This article describes the causes of hyperactivity disorder and the potential factors […]
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a Young Girl The particular objective was to assist Katie in becoming more focused and capable of finishing her chores. The patient received the same amount of IR Ritalin and was required to continue taking it for an […]
  • Similarities and Differences: SPD, ADHD, and ASD The three disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, are often confused with each other due to the connections and similarities that exist.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness According to Sayal et al, ADHD is common in young boys as it is easier to identify the problem. The disorder is well-known, and there is no struggle to identify the problem.
  • Assessing the Personality Profile With ADHD Characteristics On the contrary, the study was able to understand significant changes in the emotional states and mood of the children when the observations and the tests ended.
  • Aspects of ADHD Patients Well-Being This goal can be achieved through the help of mental health and behavioral counselors to enhance behavioral modification and the ability to cope with challenges calmly and healthily.
  • ADHD and Problems With Sleep This is because of the activity of a person in the middle of the day and the condition around them. The downside of the study is that the study group included 52 adults with ADHD […]
  • The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment It has been estimated that when medicine and therapy are applied as treatment together, the outcomes for children with ADHD are excellent.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Organization’s Mission Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is an organization that is determined to handle individuals affected by ADHD. The organization was founded in 1987 following the rampant frustration and isolation that parents experienced due to […]
  • Case Conceptualization: Abuse-Mediated ADHD Patient The case provides insight into the underlying causes of James’s educational problems and the drug abuse of his parents. The case makes it evident that the assumption from the first case conceptualization about James’s ADHD […]
  • Change: Dealing With Patients With ADHD In the current workplace, the most appropriate change would be the increase in the awareness of nurses regarding the methods of dealing with patients with ADHD.
  • Dealing With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Although my experience is not dramatic, it clearly shows how untreated ADHD leads to isolation and almost depression. However, the question arises of what is the norm, how to define and measure it.
  • Parents’ Perception of Attending an ADHD Clinic The main principles of the clinic’s specialists should be an objective diagnosis of the neurological status of the child and the characteristics of his/her behavior, the selection of drug treatment only on the basis of […]
  • ADHD: Mental Disorder Based on Symptoms The DSM-5 raised the age limit from 6 to 12 for qualifying the disorder in children and now requires five instead of six inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.
  • Understanding Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Thus, the smaller sizes of the reviewed brain structures associated with ADHD result in problems with attention, memory, and controlling movement and emotional responses.
  • Effective Therapies for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder The problem at hand is that there is a need to determine which of the therapies administered is effective in the management of ADHD.
  • Participants of “ADHD Outside the Laboratory” Study The participants in the testing group and those in the control group were matched for age within 6 months, for IQ within 15 points and finally for performance on the tasks of the study.
  • Variables in “ADHD Outside the Laboratory” Study The other variables are the videogames, matching exercise and the zoo navigation exercise used to test the performance of the boys.
  • Different Types of Diets and Children’s ADHD Treatment The last factor is a trigger that can lead to the development of a child’s genes’ reaction. Thus, diet is one of the factors that can help prevent the development of ADHD.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children The consistent utilization of effective praises and social rewards indeed results in the behavioral orientation of the child following the treatment goals.
  • Reward and Error Processing in ADHD: Looking Into the Neurophysiological and the Behavioral Measures The study was mainly concerned with looking into the neurophysiological and to some extent the behavioral measures utilized in self regulation particularly in children suffering from attention – deficit hyperactivity disorder and those who are […]
  • Vyvanse – ADD and ADHD Medicine Company Analysis It is produced by Shire and New River Pharmaceuticals in its inactive form which has to undergo digestion in the stomach and through the first-pass metabolic effect in the liver into L-lysine, an amino acid […]
  • Dealing With the Disruptive Behaviors of ADHD and Asperger Syndrome Students While teaching in a class that has students with ADHD and Asperger syndrome, the teacher should ensure that they give instructions that are simple and easy to follow.
  • Behavioral Parenting Training to Treat Children With ADHD These facts considered, it is possible to state that the seriousness of ADHD accounts for the necessity of the use of behavioral parental training as the treatment of the disorder.
  • Current Issues in Psychopharmacology: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder This is the area that is charged with the responsibility for vision control as well as a regulation of one’s brain’s ability to go to aresynchronize’ and go to rest.
  • Cognitive Psychology and Attention Deficit Disorder On top of the difficulties in regulating alertness and attention, many individuals with ADD complain of inabilities to sustain effort for duties.
  • ADHD Symptoms in Children However, there are some concerns in identifying the children with ADHD.described in a report that support should be initiated from the parents in, recognizing the problem and seeking the help of the educational professionals.2.
  • Adult and Paediatric Psychology: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder To allow children to exercise their full life potential, and not have any depression-caused impairment in the social, academic, behavioral, and emotional field, it is vital to reveal this disorder as early in life, as […]
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Biological Testing The research, leading to the discovery of the Biological testing for ADHD was conducted in Thessaloniki, Greece with 65 children volunteering for the research. There is a large difference in the eye movement of a […]
  • Issues in the Diagnosis of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children Concept theories concerning the nature of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder influence treatment, the approach to the education of children with ADHD, and the social perception of this disease.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Care Controversy The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy, in terms of symptoms and function, and safety of “once-daily dose-optimized GXR compared with placebo in the treatment of children and adolescents aged 6 17 […]
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Interventions The authors examine a wide range of past studies that reported on the effects of peer inclusion interventions and present the overall results, showing why further research on peer inclusion interventions for children with ADHD […]
  • Sociodemographic and Cultural Factors of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Children at this age have particular difficulties in retaining and concentrating attention and in controlling behavior, and this stage is sensitive to the development of these abilities. The general problem is the increase in prevalence […]
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in a Child A child counselor works with children to help them become mentally and emotionally stable. The case that is examined in this essay is a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Drug-Free Therapy The proposed study aims to create awareness of the importance of interventions with ADHD among parents refusing to use medication. The misperceptions about ADHD diagnosis and limited use of behavioral modification strategies may be due […]
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Psychosocial Interventions The mentioned components and specifically the effects of the condition on a child and his family would be the biggest challenge in the case of Derrick.
  • The Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD Cortese et al.state that cognitive behavioral therapy is overall a practical approach to the treatment of the condition, which would be the primary intervention in this case.
  • The Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder in Education Since ADHD is a topic of a condition that has the potential to cripple the abilities of a person, I have become attached to it much.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Comorbidities Due to the effects that ADHD has on patients’ relationships with their family members and friends, the development of comorbid health problems becomes highly possible.
  • Medicating Kids to Treat ADHD The traditional view is that the drugs for the disorder are some of the safest in the psychiatric practice, while the dangers posed by untreated ADHD include failure in studies, inability to construct social connections, […]
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Signs and Strategies Determining the presence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a child and addressing the disorder is often a rather intricate process because of the vagueness that surrounds the issue.
  • Cognitive Therapy for Attention Deficit Disorder The counselor is thus expected to assist the self-reflection and guide it in the direction that promises the most favorable outcome as well as raise the client’s awareness of the effect and, by extension, enhance […]
  • “Stress” Video and “A Natural Fix for ADHD” Article There certainly are some deeper reasons for people to get stressed, and the video documentary “Stress: Portrait of a Killer” and the article “A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D”.by Dr.
  • Attention Deficit Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment The patient lives with her parents and 12-year-old brother in a middle-class neighborhood. Her father has a small business, and her mother works part-time in a daycare center.
  • Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism It is possible to state that the book provides rather a high-quality review of the issues about the identification, education, and upbringing of the 2e children.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder: Case Review On the other hand, Mansour’s was observed to have difficulties in the simple tasks that he was requested to perform. Mansour’s appears to be in the 3rd phase of growth.
  • Treatment of Children With ADHD Because of the lack of sufficient evidence concerning the effects of various treatment methods for ADHD, as well as the recent Ritalin scandal, the idea of treating children with ADHD with the help of stimulant […]
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Medicalization This paper discusses the phenomenon of medicalization of ADHD, along with the medicalization of other aspects perceived as deviant or atypical, it will also review the clash of scientific ideas and cultural assumptions where medicalization […]
  • Medication and Its Role in the ADHD Treatment Similar inferences can be inferred from the findings of the research conducted by Reid, Trout and Schartz that revealed that medication is the most appropriate treatment of the symptoms associated with ADHD.
  • Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder The purpose of the present research is to understand the correlation between the self-esteem of children with ADHD and the use of medication and the disorder’s characteristics.
  • Psychology: Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder It is important to pay attention to the development of proper self-esteem in children as it can negatively affect their development and performance in the future.
  • Natural Remedies for ADHD The key peculiarity of ADHD is that a patient displays several of these symptoms, and they are observed quite regularly. Thus, one can say that proper diet can be effective for the treatment of attention […]
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Children With ADHD The study revealed that the skills acquired by the children in the sessions were relevant in the long term since the children’s behaviors were modeled entirely.
  • Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Real? In fact, the existence of the condition, its treatment and diagnosis, have been considered controversial topics since the condition was first suggested in the medical, psychology and education.
  • Is Attention Deficit Disorder a Real Disorder? When Medicine Faces Controversial Issues In addition, it is necessary to mention that some of the symptoms which the children in the case study displayed could to be considered as the ones of ADHD.
  • Foods That Effect Children With ADHD/ ADD Therefore, it is the duty of parents to identify specific foods and food additives that lead to hyperactivity in their children.
  • Toby Diagnosed: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder The symptoms of the disorder are usually similar to those of other disorder and this increases the risks of misdiagnosing it or missing it all together.
  • Identifying, Assessing and Treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder For these criteria to be effective in diagnosing a child with ADHD, the following symptoms have to be present so that the child can be labelled as having ADHD; the child has to have had […]
  • ADHD Should Be Viewed as a Cognitive Disorder The manifestation of the disorder and the difficulties that they cause, as posited by the American Psychiatric Association, are typically more pronounced when a person is involved in some piece of work such as studying […]
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Influence on the Adolescents’ Behavior That is why the investigation was developed to prove or disprove such hypotheses as the dependence of higher rates of anxiety of adolescents with ADHD on their diagnosis, the dependence of ODD and CD in […]
  • Stroop Reaction Time on Adults With ADHD The model was used to investigate the effectiveness of processes used in testing interference control and task-set management in adults with ADHD disorder.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Causes Family studies, relationship studies of adopted children, twin studies and molecular research have all confirmed that, ADHD is a genetic disorder.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD The diagnosis of ADHD has drawn a lot of attention from scientific and academic circles as some scholars argue that there are high levels of over diagnosis of the disorder.
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder As it would be observed, some of the symptoms associated with the disorder for children would differ from those of adults suffering from the same condition in a number of ways.
  • Working Memory in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Whereas many studies have indicated the possibility of the beneficial effects of WM training on people with ADHD, critics have dismissed them on the basis of flawed research design and interpretation.
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: The Basic Information in a Nutshell In the case with adults, however, the definition of the disorder will be quite different from the one which is provided for a child ADHD.
  • How ADHD Develops Into Adult ADD The development of dominance is vital in processing sensations and information, storage and the subsequent use of the information. As they become teenagers, there is a change in the symptoms of ADHD.
  • Medical Condition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder A combination of impulsive and inattentive types is referred to as a full blown ADHD condition. To manage this condition, an array of medical, behavioral, counseling, and lifestyle modification is the best combination.
  • Effects of Medication on Education as Related to ADHD In addition, as Rabiner argues, because of the hyperactivity and impulsivity reducing effect of ADHD drugs, most ADHD suffers are nowadays able to learn in an indistinguishable class setting, because of the reduced instances of […]
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment Generally the results indicate that children with ADHD had a difficult time in evaluating time concepts and they seemed to be impaired in orientation of time.
  • The Ritalin Fact Book: Stimulants Use in the ADHD Treatment Facts presented by each side of the critical issue The yes side of the critical issue makes it clear that the drugs being used to control ADHD are harmful as they affect the normal growth […]
  • Everything You Need to Know About ADHD The frontal hemisphere of the brain is concerned with coordination and a delay in development in this part of the brain can lead to such kind of disorder.
  • Behavior Modification in Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Introduction The objective of the article is to offer a description of the process of behavior modification for a child diagnosed with ADHD.
  • What Is ADHD and How Does It Affect Kids
  • The Benefits of Physical Activities in Combating the Symptoms of ADHD in Students
  • The Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity as Intervention for Children with ADHD
  • What Are the Effects of ADHD in the Classroom
  • Are Children Being Diagnosed with ADHD too Hastily
  • The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on ADHD
  • Understanding ADHD, Its Effects, Symptoms, and Approach to Children with ADHD
  • ADHD Stimulant Medication Abuse and Misuse Among U.S. Teens
  • Severity of ADHD and Anxiety Rise if Both Develop
  • The Best Approach to Dealing with Attention Deficit/Herpactivity Disorder or ADHD in Children
  • An Analysis of the Potential Causes and Treatment Methods for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Young Children
  • The Best Way to Deal with Your Child Who Struggles with ADHD
  • Response Inhibition in Children with ADHD
  • Behavioral and Pharmacological Treatment of Children with ADHD
  • Symptoms And Symptoms Of ADHD, Depression, And Anxiety
  • Bioethics in Intervention in the Deficit Attention Hyperkinetic Disorder (ADHD)
  • The Effects of Children’s ADHD on Parents’ Relationship Dissolution and Labor Supply
  • The Effects of Pharmacological Treatment of ADHD on Children’s Health
  • The Educational Implications Of ADHD On School Aged Children
  • Differences in Perception in Children with ADHD
  • The Effects Of ADHD On Children And Education System Child
  • Students With ADD/ADHD and Class Placement
  • The Advantage and Disadvantage of Using Psychostimulants in the Treatment of ADHD
  • How to Increase Medication Compliance in Children with ADHD
  • Effective Teaching Strategies for Students with ADHD
  • Scientists Probe ADHD Treatment for Long Term Management of the Disease
  • Should Stimulants Be Prescribed for ADHD Children
  • The Rise of ADHD and the an Analysis of the Drugs Prescribed for Treatment
  • The Correlation Between Smoking During Pregnancy And ADHD
  • Exploring Interventions Improving Workplace Behavior In Adults With ADHD
  • The Promise of Music and Art in Treating ADHD
  • The Struggle Of ADHD Medication And Over Diagnosis
  • The Problems of Detecting ADHD in Children
  • The Harmful Effects of ADHD Medication in Children
  • The Symptoms and Treatment of ADHD in Children and Teenagers
  • The Impact of Adult ADD/ADHD on Education
  • The Experience of Having the ADHD Disorder
  • The Young Children And Children With ADHD, And Thinking Skills
  • The Use of Ritalin in Treating ADD and ADHD
  • The Ethics Of Giving Children ADHD Medication
  • The Importance of Correctly Diagnosing ADHD in Children
  • The Rise in ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment within the United States of America
  • The World of ADHD Children
  • The Use of Drug Therapies for Children with ADHD
  • What Are the Effects of ADHD in the Classroom?
  • Does ADHD Affect Essay Writing?
  • What Are the Three Main Symptoms of ADHD?
  • How Does ADHD Medication Affect the Brain?
  • What Can ADHD Lead To?
  • Is ADHD Legitimate Medical Diagnosis or Socially Constructed Disorder?
  • How Does Art Help Children With ADHD?
  • What Are the Four Types of ADHD?
  • Can Sports Affect Impulse Control in Children With ADHD?
  • What Age Does ADHD Peak?
  • How Can You Tell if an Adult Has ADHD?
  • Should Antihypertensive Drugs Be Used for Curing ADHD?
  • How Does ADHD Affect Cognitive Development?
  • Is Adult ADHD a Risk Factor for Dementia or Phenotypic Mimic?
  • How Are People With ADHD Seen in Society?
  • Can Additional Training Help Close the ADHD Gender Gap?
  • How Does School Systems Deal With ADHD?
  • Are Children With Low Working Memory and Children With ADHD Same or Different?
  • How Does ADHD Affect School Performance?
  • Should Children With ADHD Be Medicated?
  • How Does Society View Children With ADHD?
  • What Do Researches Tell Us About Students With ADHD in the Chilean Context?
  • Why Should Teachers Understand ADHD?
  • Does DD/ADHD Exist?
  • What Are Some Challenges of ADHD?
  • Why Is ADHD an Important Topic to Discuss?
  • Is ADHD Born or Developed?
  • Can ADHD Cause Lack of Emotion?
  • Does ADHD Affect Females?
  • Is ADHD on the Autism Spectrum?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2024, February 20). 162 ADHD Essay Topics & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/adhd-essay-topics/

"162 ADHD Essay Topics & Examples." IvyPanda , 20 Feb. 2024, ivypanda.com/essays/topic/adhd-essay-topics/.

IvyPanda . (2024) '162 ADHD Essay Topics & Examples'. 20 February.

IvyPanda . 2024. "162 ADHD Essay Topics & Examples." February 20, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/adhd-essay-topics/.

1. IvyPanda . "162 ADHD Essay Topics & Examples." February 20, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/adhd-essay-topics/.


IvyPanda . "162 ADHD Essay Topics & Examples." February 20, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/adhd-essay-topics/.

  • Mental Disorder Essay Topics
  • Hyperactivity Disorder Research Ideas
  • Mental Health Essay Ideas
  • Sleep Disorders Research Topics
  • BPD Research Ideas
  • Mental Illness Research Topics
  • Dementia Research Ideas
  • Neuropsychology Topics
  • Bipolar Disorder Research Ideas
  • Pathogenesis Research Ideas
  • Abnormal Psychology Paper Topics
  • Schizophrenia Essay Topics
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder Essay Topics
  • Cognitive Therapy Essay Topics
  • Emotional Intelligence Paper Topics

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • View all journals
  • Explore content
  • About the journal
  • Publish with us
  • Sign up for alerts
  • 13 May 2020

The ADHD paper that triggered a backlash, and what it taught me

  • Anita Thapar 0

Anita Thapar is professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Cardiff University, UK.

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

In September 2010, I and two colleagues held a press conference on a paper we were about to have published in The Lancet . The paper was a genome-wide analysis that showed a higher burden of rare chromosomal deletions or duplications in people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than in those unaffected by the condition (N. M. Williams et al. Lancet 376 , 1401–1408; 2010).

Access options

Access Nature and 54 other Nature Portfolio journals

Get Nature+, our best-value online-access subscription

24,99 € / 30 days

cancel any time

Subscribe to this journal

Receive 51 print issues and online access

185,98 € per year

only 3,65 € per issue

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-01433-2

This is an article from the Nature Careers Community, a place for Nature readers to share their professional experiences and advice. Guest posts are encouraged.

Related Articles

example of a research paper on adhd

  • Medical research
  • Psychiatric disorders

Genomics reveal unknown mutation-promoting agents at global sites

Genomics reveal unknown mutation-promoting agents at global sites

News & Views 01 MAY 24

Mechanics of human embryo compaction

Mechanics of human embryo compaction

Article 01 MAY 24

Mitochondrial transfer mediates endothelial cell engraftment through mitophagy

Mitochondrial transfer mediates endothelial cell engraftment through mitophagy

Targeting RNA opens therapeutic avenues for Timothy syndrome

Targeting RNA opens therapeutic avenues for Timothy syndrome

News & Views 24 APR 24

The rise of eco-anxiety: scientists wake up to the mental-health toll of climate change

The rise of eco-anxiety: scientists wake up to the mental-health toll of climate change

News Feature 10 APR 24

Use fines from EU social-media act to fund research on adolescent mental health

Correspondence 09 APR 24

How I harnessed media engagement to supercharge my research career

How I harnessed media engagement to supercharge my research career

Career Column 09 APR 24

The corpse of an exploded star and more — March’s best science images

The corpse of an exploded star and more — March’s best science images

News 28 MAR 24

Tweeting your research paper boosts engagement but not citations

Tweeting your research paper boosts engagement but not citations

News 27 MAR 24

Director, NLM

Vacancy Announcement Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health   DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE   THE POSITION:...

Bethesda, Maryland

National Library of Medicine - Office of the Director

Call for postdoctoral fellows in Molecular Medicine, Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine

The Nordic EMBL Partnership is seeking postdoctoral fellows for collaborative projects in molecular medicine through the first NORPOD call.

Helsinki, Finland

Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine

example of a research paper on adhd

Associate or Senior Editor (microbial genetics, evolution, and epidemiology)

we’re seeking an editor who has a critical eye, a deep understanding of their subject and interests beyond, and who can think on their feet.

London, New York, Philadelphia or Pune – Hybrid working model.

Springer Nature Ltd

example of a research paper on adhd

Description test

Berlin (DE)

Springer Nature Group

Postdoctoral Associate- Molecular Cell Biology

Houston, Texas (US)

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM)

example of a research paper on adhd

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Quick links

  • Explore articles by subject
  • Guide to authors
  • Editorial policies

Research on ADHD

Current research, research agenda.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a serious public health problem affecting a large number of children and adults. CDC conducts research to expand on what is known about ADHD. The information learned will improve knowledge about the factors that increase the risk for ADHD, as well as the causes, and best treatments, and will aid the development of resources to help people living with ADHD . Learn more about CDC’s research on ADHD on this overview page.

ADHD can cause problems in how well children do in school, in their ability to make and keep friends, and in how they function in society. Although there are treatments to improve ADHD symptoms, more information is needed about managing ADHD so that children can learn and grow into adulthood without being impaired by their symptoms.

Research on ADHD

The criteria used to diagnose ADHD have changed over time. Researchers who study ADHD have used different definitions to diagnose ADHD. This has led to different estimates for the number, characteristics, and outcomes of children with the disorder. Although the exact causes of ADHD are not known, research shows that genes play a role, but other factors may contribute or make symptoms worse. There are many unanswered questions about ADHD, and there is more we need to learn about how ADHD affects people throughout their life.

The treatment costs of ADHD and the personal and societal costs can be significant. Researchers estimate that in the United States, $31.6 billion is the combined annual cost for

  • Health care for persons with ADHD specifically related to the diagnosis;
  • Health care for family members of persons with ADHD specifically related to their family member’s diagnosis; and
  • Work absences among adults with ADHD and adult family members of persons with ADHD. 1

Improving the health of individuals with ADHD could result in substantial financial savings to families and society, potentially reducing this financial burden.

National Surveys

CDC uses data from national surveys to understand the number of children with ADHD, other concerns and conditions they might experience, and the kind of treatment they might receive. Surveys that have data on children and on ADHD include

  • National Survey of Children’s Health since 2016 ,
  • National Survey of Children’s Health 2003-2012 ,
  • National Survey of the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD and Tourette Syndrome (NS-DATA) ,
  • National Health Interview Survey ,
  • National Survey on Children with Special Health Care Needs

Read about key findings from the national surveys .

Learn more about the data from the national surveys .

Policy Research

In order to fully appreciate how children with ADHD are treated, one must understand the policies that affect how treatments are authorized and reimbursed by health plans. One policy that may affect medication treatment is for health plans or state programs to require pre-authorization before specific medications can be prescribed. Prescription prior-authorization policy means that the health plan or state program is required to review a physician’s prescription request before coverage for the medication is granted.

Over the past decades, the number of children being prescribed ADHD medications has increased substantially. In response to this trend, many state Medicaid programs have implemented prior-authorization policies for pediatric use of ADHD medications. These policies vary from state to state, and no comprehensive information on these policies was previously available.

To learn more about prior-authorization policies related to pediatric use of ADHD medications, CDC collaborated with Temple University to conduct a cross-sectional mapping study . Information was gathered on state Medicaid prior-authorization policies (as of April 2023) for prescribing ADHD medication to children. The study team collected

New Research: Medicaid policies to manage the use of ADHD medications: Information by state

  • Prior-authorization forms,
  • Memoranda from state Medicaid directors to prescribers,
  • Drug utilization review board meeting notes, and
  • State prescription drug lists.

The study team developed a coding scheme to capture and catalogue the key features of the prior-authorization policies. You can access a fact sheet with a summary of the results of this mapping study and also a database of state policies.

Healthcare Claims Data

CDC uses healthcare insurance claims data to understand treatment patterns for children in clinical care for ADHD, such as claims for psychological services and ADHD medication in patients covered by employer-sponsored insurance or by Medicaid.

Read more about the data from healthcare claims datasets.

Community-based Research

CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) supported large community-based, epidemiologic studies of ADHD in the United States. These studies

  • Enhance what is known about ADHD and the co-occurring conditions in children and
  • Increase the opportunity to make the most informed decisions and recommendations about potential public health prevention and intervention strategies for children with ADHD.

Project to Learn About ADHD in Youth (PLAY)

Project to Learn About ADHD in Youth (PLAY)

The Project to Learn About ADHD in Youth (PLAY) was a population-based research project with the University of South Carolina and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. It was conducted to shed more light on how many school-age children have ADHD, how the condition develops over time, what other conditions and risks children may experience, and about treatments they may receive. Data were collected to learn more about ADHD in diverse population groups, the quality and patterns of treatment, and the factors that affect short- and long-term outcomes for children.

Project to Learn About Youth – Mental Health

Project to Learn about Youth PLAY logo

The Project to Learn About Youth – Mental Health (PLAY-MH) expanded the focus to study a range of mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders including ADHD and tic disorders (such as Tourette syndrome)  in four communities. The project provides information that can be used for public health prevention and intervention strategies to support children’s health and development.

Study questions include

  • What percentage of children in the community has one or more mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders ?
  • How frequently do these disorders appear together?
  • What types of treatment are children receiving?

  Top of Page

Understanding Risk


It is not known what causes ADHD. ADHD is often seen in families, and genes appear to play a role, but other factors may contribute or make symptoms worse. For example, some environmental exposures have been linked to increased ADHD symptoms , but the evidence has been inconsistent. Knowing more about those factors would help with planning how to decrease the risk for ADHD. NCBDDD funded a comprehensive literature review of studies that investigate a large range of factors that might increase the risk for ADHD. The results will increase the ability of public health professionals to make the most informed decisions and recommendations about potential public health prevention strategies.

Public health issues in ADHD can be divided into three areas:

  • Understanding how many children have ADHD and whether they are properly diagnosed.
  • Understanding and addressing the impact of ADHD in the population.
  • Understanding which treatments are effective and which are best for children of different ages and in different communities.

Key public health questions yet to be answered include

  • What are the causes, and the factors that increase the risk or severity of ADHD?
  • How many children have ADHD? Is the rate increasing?
  • How many children have ADHD and other conditions at the same time?
  • What social and economic impacts does ADHD have on families, schools, the workforce, and the judicial and health systems?
  • Are ADHD and other co-occurring conditions  being appropriately diagnosed and treated?
  • Are people with ADHD able to access appropriate and timely treatment?
  • How effective are the treatments and what are their long-term effects?

Previous Workshop Summaries

  • Epidemiologic Issues in ADHD Workshop (April 14, 1999)
  • Public Health Issues in ADHD: Individual, System, and Cost Burden of the Disorder (May, 17, 1999)
  • ADHD Long-term Outcomes: Comorbidity, Secondary Conditions, and Health Risk Behaviors (June 9, 1999)
  • Public Health Issues in the Treatment of ADHD Workshop (June 15, 1999)

Birnbaum HG, Kessler RC, Lowe SW, Secnik K, Greenberg PE, Leong SA, et al. Costs of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the US: excess costs of persons with ADHD and their family members in 2000. Current medical research and opinion 2005;21(2):195-206 .

To receive email updates about this topic, enter your email address:

Exit Notification / Disclaimer Policy

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
  • Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
  • You will be subject to the destination website's privacy policy when you follow the link.
  • CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website.
  • Open access
  • Published: 18 April 2024

Research ethics and artificial intelligence for global health: perspectives from the global forum on bioethics in research

  • James Shaw 1 , 13 ,
  • Joseph Ali 2 , 3 ,
  • Caesar A. Atuire 4 , 5 ,
  • Phaik Yeong Cheah 6 ,
  • Armando Guio Español 7 ,
  • Judy Wawira Gichoya 8 ,
  • Adrienne Hunt 9 ,
  • Daudi Jjingo 10 ,
  • Katherine Littler 9 ,
  • Daniela Paolotti 11 &
  • Effy Vayena 12  

BMC Medical Ethics volume  25 , Article number:  46 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

1065 Accesses

6 Altmetric

Metrics details

The ethical governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in health care and public health continues to be an urgent issue for attention in policy, research, and practice. In this paper we report on central themes related to challenges and strategies for promoting ethics in research involving AI in global health, arising from the Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR), held in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2022.

The GFBR is an annual meeting organized by the World Health Organization and supported by the Wellcome Trust, the US National Institutes of Health, the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the South African MRC. The forum aims to bring together ethicists, researchers, policymakers, research ethics committee members and other actors to engage with challenges and opportunities specifically related to research ethics. In 2022 the focus of the GFBR was “Ethics of AI in Global Health Research”. The forum consisted of 6 case study presentations, 16 governance presentations, and a series of small group and large group discussions. A total of 87 participants attended the forum from 31 countries around the world, representing disciplines of bioethics, AI, health policy, health professional practice, research funding, and bioinformatics. In this paper, we highlight central insights arising from GFBR 2022.

We describe the significance of four thematic insights arising from the forum: (1) Appropriateness of building AI, (2) Transferability of AI systems, (3) Accountability for AI decision-making and outcomes, and (4) Individual consent. We then describe eight recommendations for governance leaders to enhance the ethical governance of AI in global health research, addressing issues such as AI impact assessments, environmental values, and fair partnerships.


The 2022 Global Forum on Bioethics in Research illustrated several innovations in ethical governance of AI for global health research, as well as several areas in need of urgent attention internationally. This summary is intended to inform international and domestic efforts to strengthen research ethics and support the evolution of governance leadership to meet the demands of AI in global health research.

Peer Review reports


The ethical governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in health care and public health continues to be an urgent issue for attention in policy, research, and practice [ 1 , 2 , 3 ]. Beyond the growing number of AI applications being implemented in health care, capabilities of AI models such as Large Language Models (LLMs) expand the potential reach and significance of AI technologies across health-related fields [ 4 , 5 ]. Discussion about effective, ethical governance of AI technologies has spanned a range of governance approaches, including government regulation, organizational decision-making, professional self-regulation, and research ethics review [ 6 , 7 , 8 ]. In this paper, we report on central themes related to challenges and strategies for promoting ethics in research involving AI in global health research, arising from the Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR), held in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2022. Although applications of AI for research, health care, and public health are diverse and advancing rapidly, the insights generated at the forum remain highly relevant from a global health perspective. After summarizing important context for work in this domain, we highlight categories of ethical issues emphasized at the forum for attention from a research ethics perspective internationally. We then outline strategies proposed for research, innovation, and governance to support more ethical AI for global health.

In this paper, we adopt the definition of AI systems provided by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as our starting point. Their definition states that an AI system is “a machine-based system that can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, make predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing real or virtual environments. AI systems are designed to operate with varying levels of autonomy” [ 9 ]. The conceptualization of an algorithm as helping to constitute an AI system, along with hardware, other elements of software, and a particular context of use, illustrates the wide variety of ways in which AI can be applied. We have found it useful to differentiate applications of AI in research as those classified as “AI systems for discovery” and “AI systems for intervention”. An AI system for discovery is one that is intended to generate new knowledge, for example in drug discovery or public health research in which researchers are seeking potential targets for intervention, innovation, or further research. An AI system for intervention is one that directly contributes to enacting an intervention in a particular context, for example informing decision-making at the point of care or assisting with accuracy in a surgical procedure.

The mandate of the GFBR is to take a broad view of what constitutes research and its regulation in global health, with special attention to bioethics in Low- and Middle- Income Countries. AI as a group of technologies demands such a broad view. AI development for health occurs in a variety of environments, including universities and academic health sciences centers where research ethics review remains an important element of the governance of science and innovation internationally [ 10 , 11 ]. In these settings, research ethics committees (RECs; also known by different names such as Institutional Review Boards or IRBs) make decisions about the ethical appropriateness of projects proposed by researchers and other institutional members, ultimately determining whether a given project is allowed to proceed on ethical grounds [ 12 ].

However, research involving AI for health also takes place in large corporations and smaller scale start-ups, which in some jurisdictions fall outside the scope of research ethics regulation. In the domain of AI, the question of what constitutes research also becomes blurred. For example, is the development of an algorithm itself considered a part of the research process? Or only when that algorithm is tested under the formal constraints of a systematic research methodology? In this paper we take an inclusive view, in which AI development is included in the definition of research activity and within scope for our inquiry, regardless of the setting in which it takes place. This broad perspective characterizes the approach to “research ethics” we take in this paper, extending beyond the work of RECs to include the ethical analysis of the wide range of activities that constitute research as the generation of new knowledge and intervention in the world.

Ethical governance of AI in global health

The ethical governance of AI for global health has been widely discussed in recent years. The World Health Organization (WHO) released its guidelines on ethics and governance of AI for health in 2021, endorsing a set of six ethical principles and exploring the relevance of those principles through a variety of use cases. The WHO guidelines also provided an overview of AI governance, defining governance as covering “a range of steering and rule-making functions of governments and other decision-makers, including international health agencies, for the achievement of national health policy objectives conducive to universal health coverage.” (p. 81) The report usefully provided a series of recommendations related to governance of seven domains pertaining to AI for health: data, benefit sharing, the private sector, the public sector, regulation, policy observatories/model legislation, and global governance. The report acknowledges that much work is yet to be done to advance international cooperation on AI governance, especially related to prioritizing voices from Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) in global dialogue.

One important point emphasized in the WHO report that reinforces the broader literature on global governance of AI is the distribution of responsibility across a wide range of actors in the AI ecosystem. This is especially important to highlight when focused on research for global health, which is specifically about work that transcends national borders. Alami et al. (2020) discussed the unique risks raised by AI research in global health, ranging from the unavailability of data in many LMICs required to train locally relevant AI models to the capacity of health systems to absorb new AI technologies that demand the use of resources from elsewhere in the system. These observations illustrate the need to identify the unique issues posed by AI research for global health specifically, and the strategies that can be employed by all those implicated in AI governance to promote ethically responsible use of AI in global health research.

RECs and the regulation of research involving AI

RECs represent an important element of the governance of AI for global health research, and thus warrant further commentary as background to our paper. Despite the importance of RECs, foundational questions have been raised about their capabilities to accurately understand and address ethical issues raised by studies involving AI. Rahimzadeh et al. (2023) outlined how RECs in the United States are under-prepared to align with recent federal policy requiring that RECs review data sharing and management plans with attention to the unique ethical issues raised in AI research for health [ 13 ]. Similar research in South Africa identified variability in understanding of existing regulations and ethical issues associated with health-related big data sharing and management among research ethics committee members [ 14 , 15 ]. The effort to address harms accruing to groups or communities as opposed to individuals whose data are included in AI research has also been identified as a unique challenge for RECs [ 16 , 17 ]. Doerr and Meeder (2022) suggested that current regulatory frameworks for research ethics might actually prevent RECs from adequately addressing such issues, as they are deemed out of scope of REC review [ 16 ]. Furthermore, research in the United Kingdom and Canada has suggested that researchers using AI methods for health tend to distinguish between ethical issues and social impact of their research, adopting an overly narrow view of what constitutes ethical issues in their work [ 18 ].

The challenges for RECs in adequately addressing ethical issues in AI research for health care and public health exceed a straightforward survey of ethical considerations. As Ferretti et al. (2021) contend, some capabilities of RECs adequately cover certain issues in AI-based health research, such as the common occurrence of conflicts of interest where researchers who accept funds from commercial technology providers are implicitly incentivized to produce results that align with commercial interests [ 12 ]. However, some features of REC review require reform to adequately meet ethical needs. Ferretti et al. outlined weaknesses of RECs that are longstanding and those that are novel to AI-related projects, proposing a series of directions for development that are regulatory, procedural, and complementary to REC functionality. The work required on a global scale to update the REC function in response to the demands of research involving AI is substantial.

These issues take greater urgency in the context of global health [ 19 ]. Teixeira da Silva (2022) described the global practice of “ethics dumping”, where researchers from high income countries bring ethically contentious practices to RECs in low-income countries as a strategy to gain approval and move projects forward [ 20 ]. Although not yet systematically documented in AI research for health, risk of ethics dumping in AI research is high. Evidence is already emerging of practices of “health data colonialism”, in which AI researchers and developers from large organizations in high-income countries acquire data to build algorithms in LMICs to avoid stricter regulations [ 21 ]. This specific practice is part of a larger collection of practices that characterize health data colonialism, involving the broader exploitation of data and the populations they represent primarily for commercial gain [ 21 , 22 ]. As an additional complication, AI algorithms trained on data from high-income contexts are unlikely to apply in straightforward ways to LMIC settings [ 21 , 23 ]. In the context of global health, there is widespread acknowledgement about the need to not only enhance the knowledge base of REC members about AI-based methods internationally, but to acknowledge the broader shifts required to encourage their capabilities to more fully address these and other ethical issues associated with AI research for health [ 8 ].

Although RECs are an important part of the story of the ethical governance of AI for global health research, they are not the only part. The responsibilities of supra-national entities such as the World Health Organization, national governments, organizational leaders, commercial AI technology providers, health care professionals, and other groups continue to be worked out internationally. In this context of ongoing work, examining issues that demand attention and strategies to address them remains an urgent and valuable task.

The GFBR is an annual meeting organized by the World Health Organization and supported by the Wellcome Trust, the US National Institutes of Health, the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the South African MRC. The forum aims to bring together ethicists, researchers, policymakers, REC members and other actors to engage with challenges and opportunities specifically related to research ethics. Each year the GFBR meeting includes a series of case studies and keynotes presented in plenary format to an audience of approximately 100 people who have applied and been competitively selected to attend, along with small-group breakout discussions to advance thinking on related issues. The specific topic of the forum changes each year, with past topics including ethical issues in research with people living with mental health conditions (2021), genome editing (2019), and biobanking/data sharing (2018). The forum is intended to remain grounded in the practical challenges of engaging in research ethics, with special interest in low resource settings from a global health perspective. A post-meeting fellowship scheme is open to all LMIC participants, providing a unique opportunity to apply for funding to further explore and address the ethical challenges that are identified during the meeting.

In 2022, the focus of the GFBR was “Ethics of AI in Global Health Research”. The forum consisted of 6 case study presentations (both short and long form) reporting on specific initiatives related to research ethics and AI for health, and 16 governance presentations (both short and long form) reporting on actual approaches to governing AI in different country settings. A keynote presentation from Professor Effy Vayena addressed the topic of the broader context for AI ethics in a rapidly evolving field. A total of 87 participants attended the forum from 31 countries around the world, representing disciplines of bioethics, AI, health policy, health professional practice, research funding, and bioinformatics. The 2-day forum addressed a wide range of themes. The conference report provides a detailed overview of each of the specific topics addressed while a policy paper outlines the cross-cutting themes (both documents are available at the GFBR website: https://www.gfbr.global/past-meetings/16th-forum-cape-town-south-africa-29-30-november-2022/ ). As opposed to providing a detailed summary in this paper, we aim to briefly highlight central issues raised, solutions proposed, and the challenges facing the research ethics community in the years to come.

In this way, our primary aim in this paper is to present a synthesis of the challenges and opportunities raised at the GFBR meeting and in the planning process, followed by our reflections as a group of authors on their significance for governance leaders in the coming years. We acknowledge that the views represented at the meeting and in our results are a partial representation of the universe of views on this topic; however, the GFBR leadership invested a great deal of resources in convening a deeply diverse and thoughtful group of researchers and practitioners working on themes of bioethics related to AI for global health including those based in LMICs. We contend that it remains rare to convene such a strong group for an extended time and believe that many of the challenges and opportunities raised demand attention for more ethical futures of AI for health. Nonetheless, our results are primarily descriptive and are thus not explicitly grounded in a normative argument. We make effort in the Discussion section to contextualize our results by describing their significance and connecting them to broader efforts to reform global health research and practice.

Uniquely important ethical issues for AI in global health research

Presentations and group dialogue over the course of the forum raised several issues for consideration, and here we describe four overarching themes for the ethical governance of AI in global health research. Brief descriptions of each issue can be found in Table  1 . Reports referred to throughout the paper are available at the GFBR website provided above.

The first overarching thematic issue relates to the appropriateness of building AI technologies in response to health-related challenges in the first place. Case study presentations referred to initiatives where AI technologies were highly appropriate, such as in ear shape biometric identification to more accurately link electronic health care records to individual patients in Zambia (Alinani Simukanga). Although important ethical issues were raised with respect to privacy, trust, and community engagement in this initiative, the AI-based solution was appropriately matched to the challenge of accurately linking electronic records to specific patient identities. In contrast, forum participants raised questions about the appropriateness of an initiative using AI to improve the quality of handwashing practices in an acute care hospital in India (Niyoshi Shah), which led to gaming the algorithm. Overall, participants acknowledged the dangers of techno-solutionism, in which AI researchers and developers treat AI technologies as the most obvious solutions to problems that in actuality demand much more complex strategies to address [ 24 ]. However, forum participants agreed that RECs in different contexts have differing degrees of power to raise issues of the appropriateness of an AI-based intervention.

The second overarching thematic issue related to whether and how AI-based systems transfer from one national health context to another. One central issue raised by a number of case study presentations related to the challenges of validating an algorithm with data collected in a local environment. For example, one case study presentation described a project that would involve the collection of personally identifiable data for sensitive group identities, such as tribe, clan, or religion, in the jurisdictions involved (South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and the US; Gakii Masunga). Doing so would enable the team to ensure that those groups were adequately represented in the dataset to ensure the resulting algorithm was not biased against specific community groups when deployed in that context. However, some members of these communities might desire to be represented in the dataset, whereas others might not, illustrating the need to balance autonomy and inclusivity. It was also widely recognized that collecting these data is an immense challenge, particularly when historically oppressive practices have led to a low-trust environment for international organizations and the technologies they produce. It is important to note that in some countries such as South Africa and Rwanda, it is illegal to collect information such as race and tribal identities, re-emphasizing the importance for cultural awareness and avoiding “one size fits all” solutions.

The third overarching thematic issue is related to understanding accountabilities for both the impacts of AI technologies and governance decision-making regarding their use. Where global health research involving AI leads to longer-term harms that might fall outside the usual scope of issues considered by a REC, who is to be held accountable, and how? This question was raised as one that requires much further attention, with law being mixed internationally regarding the mechanisms available to hold researchers, innovators, and their institutions accountable over the longer term. However, it was recognized in breakout group discussion that many jurisdictions are developing strong data protection regimes related specifically to international collaboration for research involving health data. For example, Kenya’s Data Protection Act requires that any internationally funded projects have a local principal investigator who will hold accountability for how data are shared and used [ 25 ]. The issue of research partnerships with commercial entities was raised by many participants in the context of accountability, pointing toward the urgent need for clear principles related to strategies for engagement with commercial technology companies in global health research.

The fourth and final overarching thematic issue raised here is that of consent. The issue of consent was framed by the widely shared recognition that models of individual, explicit consent might not produce a supportive environment for AI innovation that relies on the secondary uses of health-related datasets to build AI algorithms. Given this recognition, approaches such as community oversight of health data uses were suggested as a potential solution. However, the details of implementing such community oversight mechanisms require much further attention, particularly given the unique perspectives on health data in different country settings in global health research. Furthermore, some uses of health data do continue to require consent. One case study of South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda suggested that when health data are shared across borders, individual consent remains necessary when data is transferred from certain countries (Nezerith Cengiz). Broader clarity is necessary to support the ethical governance of health data uses for AI in global health research.

Recommendations for ethical governance of AI in global health research

Dialogue at the forum led to a range of suggestions for promoting ethical conduct of AI research for global health, related to the various roles of actors involved in the governance of AI research broadly defined. The strategies are written for actors we refer to as “governance leaders”, those people distributed throughout the AI for global health research ecosystem who are responsible for ensuring the ethical and socially responsible conduct of global health research involving AI (including researchers themselves). These include RECs, government regulators, health care leaders, health professionals, corporate social accountability officers, and others. Enacting these strategies would bolster the ethical governance of AI for global health more generally, enabling multiple actors to fulfill their roles related to governing research and development activities carried out across multiple organizations, including universities, academic health sciences centers, start-ups, and technology corporations. Specific suggestions are summarized in Table  2 .

First, forum participants suggested that governance leaders including RECs, should remain up to date on recent advances in the regulation of AI for health. Regulation of AI for health advances rapidly and takes on different forms in jurisdictions around the world. RECs play an important role in governance, but only a partial role; it was deemed important for RECs to acknowledge how they fit within a broader governance ecosystem in order to more effectively address the issues within their scope. Not only RECs but organizational leaders responsible for procurement, researchers, and commercial actors should all commit to efforts to remain up to date about the relevant approaches to regulating AI for health care and public health in jurisdictions internationally. In this way, governance can more adequately remain up to date with advances in regulation.

Second, forum participants suggested that governance leaders should focus on ethical governance of health data as a basis for ethical global health AI research. Health data are considered the foundation of AI development, being used to train AI algorithms for various uses [ 26 ]. By focusing on ethical governance of health data generation, sharing, and use, multiple actors will help to build an ethical foundation for AI development among global health researchers.

Third, forum participants believed that governance processes should incorporate AI impact assessments where appropriate. An AI impact assessment is the process of evaluating the potential effects, both positive and negative, of implementing an AI algorithm on individuals, society, and various stakeholders, generally over time frames specified in advance of implementation [ 27 ]. Although not all types of AI research in global health would warrant an AI impact assessment, this is especially relevant for those studies aiming to implement an AI system for intervention into health care or public health. Organizations such as RECs can use AI impact assessments to boost understanding of potential harms at the outset of a research project, encouraging researchers to more deeply consider potential harms in the development of their study.

Fourth, forum participants suggested that governance decisions should incorporate the use of environmental impact assessments, or at least the incorporation of environment values when assessing the potential impact of an AI system. An environmental impact assessment involves evaluating and anticipating the potential environmental effects of a proposed project to inform ethical decision-making that supports sustainability [ 28 ]. Although a relatively new consideration in research ethics conversations [ 29 ], the environmental impact of building technologies is a crucial consideration for the public health commitment to environmental sustainability. Governance leaders can use environmental impact assessments to boost understanding of potential environmental harms linked to AI research projects in global health over both the shorter and longer terms.

Fifth, forum participants suggested that governance leaders should require stronger transparency in the development of AI algorithms in global health research. Transparency was considered essential in the design and development of AI algorithms for global health to ensure ethical and accountable decision-making throughout the process. Furthermore, whether and how researchers have considered the unique contexts into which such algorithms may be deployed can be surfaced through stronger transparency, for example in describing what primary considerations were made at the outset of the project and which stakeholders were consulted along the way. Sharing information about data provenance and methods used in AI development will also enhance the trustworthiness of the AI-based research process.

Sixth, forum participants suggested that governance leaders can encourage or require community engagement at various points throughout an AI project. It was considered that engaging patients and communities is crucial in AI algorithm development to ensure that the technology aligns with community needs and values. However, participants acknowledged that this is not a straightforward process. Effective community engagement requires lengthy commitments to meeting with and hearing from diverse communities in a given setting, and demands a particular set of skills in communication and dialogue that are not possessed by all researchers. Encouraging AI researchers to begin this process early and build long-term partnerships with community members is a promising strategy to deepen community engagement in AI research for global health. One notable recommendation was that research funders have an opportunity to incentivize and enable community engagement with funds dedicated to these activities in AI research in global health.

Seventh, forum participants suggested that governance leaders can encourage researchers to build strong, fair partnerships between institutions and individuals across country settings. In a context of longstanding imbalances in geopolitical and economic power, fair partnerships in global health demand a priori commitments to share benefits related to advances in medical technologies, knowledge, and financial gains. Although enforcement of this point might be beyond the remit of RECs, commentary will encourage researchers to consider stronger, fairer partnerships in global health in the longer term.

Eighth, it became evident that it is necessary to explore new forms of regulatory experimentation given the complexity of regulating a technology of this nature. In addition, the health sector has a series of particularities that make it especially complicated to generate rules that have not been previously tested. Several participants highlighted the desire to promote spaces for experimentation such as regulatory sandboxes or innovation hubs in health. These spaces can have several benefits for addressing issues surrounding the regulation of AI in the health sector, such as: (i) increasing the capacities and knowledge of health authorities about this technology; (ii) identifying the major problems surrounding AI regulation in the health sector; (iii) establishing possibilities for exchange and learning with other authorities; (iv) promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in AI in health; and (vi) identifying the need to regulate AI in this sector and update other existing regulations.

Ninth and finally, forum participants believed that the capabilities of governance leaders need to evolve to better incorporate expertise related to AI in ways that make sense within a given jurisdiction. With respect to RECs, for example, it might not make sense for every REC to recruit a member with expertise in AI methods. Rather, it will make more sense in some jurisdictions to consult with members of the scientific community with expertise in AI when research protocols are submitted that demand such expertise. Furthermore, RECs and other approaches to research governance in jurisdictions around the world will need to evolve in order to adopt the suggestions outlined above, developing processes that apply specifically to the ethical governance of research using AI methods in global health.

Research involving the development and implementation of AI technologies continues to grow in global health, posing important challenges for ethical governance of AI in global health research around the world. In this paper we have summarized insights from the 2022 GFBR, focused specifically on issues in research ethics related to AI for global health research. We summarized four thematic challenges for governance related to AI in global health research and nine suggestions arising from presentations and dialogue at the forum. In this brief discussion section, we present an overarching observation about power imbalances that frames efforts to evolve the role of governance in global health research, and then outline two important opportunity areas as the field develops to meet the challenges of AI in global health research.

Dialogue about power is not unfamiliar in global health, especially given recent contributions exploring what it would mean to de-colonize global health research, funding, and practice [ 30 , 31 ]. Discussions of research ethics applied to AI research in global health contexts are deeply infused with power imbalances. The existing context of global health is one in which high-income countries primarily located in the “Global North” charitably invest in projects taking place primarily in the “Global South” while recouping knowledge, financial, and reputational benefits [ 32 ]. With respect to AI development in particular, recent examples of digital colonialism frame dialogue about global partnerships, raising attention to the role of large commercial entities and global financial capitalism in global health research [ 21 , 22 ]. Furthermore, the power of governance organizations such as RECs to intervene in the process of AI research in global health varies widely around the world, depending on the authorities assigned to them by domestic research governance policies. These observations frame the challenges outlined in our paper, highlighting the difficulties associated with making meaningful change in this field.

Despite these overarching challenges of the global health research context, there are clear strategies for progress in this domain. Firstly, AI innovation is rapidly evolving, which means approaches to the governance of AI for health are rapidly evolving too. Such rapid evolution presents an important opportunity for governance leaders to clarify their vision and influence over AI innovation in global health research, boosting the expertise, structure, and functionality required to meet the demands of research involving AI. Secondly, the research ethics community has strong international ties, linked to a global scholarly community that is committed to sharing insights and best practices around the world. This global community can be leveraged to coordinate efforts to produce advances in the capabilities and authorities of governance leaders to meaningfully govern AI research for global health given the challenges summarized in our paper.


Our paper includes two specific limitations that we address explicitly here. First, it is still early in the lifetime of the development of applications of AI for use in global health, and as such, the global community has had limited opportunity to learn from experience. For example, there were many fewer case studies, which detail experiences with the actual implementation of an AI technology, submitted to GFBR 2022 for consideration than was expected. In contrast, there were many more governance reports submitted, which detail the processes and outputs of governance processes that anticipate the development and dissemination of AI technologies. This observation represents both a success and a challenge. It is a success that so many groups are engaging in anticipatory governance of AI technologies, exploring evidence of their likely impacts and governing technologies in novel and well-designed ways. It is a challenge that there is little experience to build upon of the successful implementation of AI technologies in ways that have limited harms while promoting innovation. Further experience with AI technologies in global health will contribute to revising and enhancing the challenges and recommendations we have outlined in our paper.

Second, global trends in the politics and economics of AI technologies are evolving rapidly. Although some nations are advancing detailed policy approaches to regulating AI more generally, including for uses in health care and public health, the impacts of corporate investments in AI and political responses related to governance remain to be seen. The excitement around large language models (LLMs) and large multimodal models (LMMs) has drawn deeper attention to the challenges of regulating AI in any general sense, opening dialogue about health sector-specific regulations. The direction of this global dialogue, strongly linked to high-profile corporate actors and multi-national governance institutions, will strongly influence the development of boundaries around what is possible for the ethical governance of AI for global health. We have written this paper at a point when these developments are proceeding rapidly, and as such, we acknowledge that our recommendations will need updating as the broader field evolves.

Ultimately, coordination and collaboration between many stakeholders in the research ethics ecosystem will be necessary to strengthen the ethical governance of AI in global health research. The 2022 GFBR illustrated several innovations in ethical governance of AI for global health research, as well as several areas in need of urgent attention internationally. This summary is intended to inform international and domestic efforts to strengthen research ethics and support the evolution of governance leadership to meet the demands of AI in global health research.

Data availability

All data and materials analyzed to produce this paper are available on the GFBR website: https://www.gfbr.global/past-meetings/16th-forum-cape-town-south-africa-29-30-november-2022/ .

Clark P, Kim J, Aphinyanaphongs Y, Marketing, Food US. Drug Administration Clearance of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Enabled Software in and as Medical devices: a systematic review. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(7):e2321792–2321792.

Article   Google Scholar  

Potnis KC, Ross JS, Aneja S, Gross CP, Richman IB. Artificial intelligence in breast cancer screening: evaluation of FDA device regulation and future recommendations. JAMA Intern Med. 2022;182(12):1306–12.

Siala H, Wang Y. SHIFTing artificial intelligence to be responsible in healthcare: a systematic review. Soc Sci Med. 2022;296:114782.

Yang X, Chen A, PourNejatian N, Shin HC, Smith KE, Parisien C, et al. A large language model for electronic health records. NPJ Digit Med. 2022;5(1):194.

Meskó B, Topol EJ. The imperative for regulatory oversight of large language models (or generative AI) in healthcare. NPJ Digit Med. 2023;6(1):120.

Jobin A, Ienca M, Vayena E. The global landscape of AI ethics guidelines. Nat Mach Intell. 2019;1(9):389–99.

Minssen T, Vayena E, Cohen IG. The challenges for Regulating Medical Use of ChatGPT and other large Language models. JAMA. 2023.

Ho CWL, Malpani R. Scaling up the research ethics framework for healthcare machine learning as global health ethics and governance. Am J Bioeth. 2022;22(5):36–8.

Yeung K. Recommendation of the council on artificial intelligence (OECD). Int Leg Mater. 2020;59(1):27–34.

Maddox TM, Rumsfeld JS, Payne PR. Questions for artificial intelligence in health care. JAMA. 2019;321(1):31–2.

Dzau VJ, Balatbat CA, Ellaissi WF. Revisiting academic health sciences systems a decade later: discovery to health to population to society. Lancet. 2021;398(10318):2300–4.

Ferretti A, Ienca M, Sheehan M, Blasimme A, Dove ES, Farsides B, et al. Ethics review of big data research: what should stay and what should be reformed? BMC Med Ethics. 2021;22(1):1–13.

Rahimzadeh V, Serpico K, Gelinas L. Institutional review boards need new skills to review data sharing and management plans. Nat Med. 2023;1–3.

Kling S, Singh S, Burgess TL, Nair G. The role of an ethics advisory committee in data science research in sub-saharan Africa. South Afr J Sci. 2023;119(5–6):1–3.

Google Scholar  

Cengiz N, Kabanda SM, Esterhuizen TM, Moodley K. Exploring perspectives of research ethics committee members on the governance of big data in sub-saharan Africa. South Afr J Sci. 2023;119(5–6):1–9.

Doerr M, Meeder S. Big health data research and group harm: the scope of IRB review. Ethics Hum Res. 2022;44(4):34–8.

Ballantyne A, Stewart C. Big data and public-private partnerships in healthcare and research: the application of an ethics framework for big data in health and research. Asian Bioeth Rev. 2019;11(3):315–26.

Samuel G, Chubb J, Derrick G. Boundaries between research ethics and ethical research use in artificial intelligence health research. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2021;16(3):325–37.

Murphy K, Di Ruggiero E, Upshur R, Willison DJ, Malhotra N, Cai JC, et al. Artificial intelligence for good health: a scoping review of the ethics literature. BMC Med Ethics. 2021;22(1):1–17.

Teixeira da Silva JA. Handling ethics dumping and neo-colonial research: from the laboratory to the academic literature. J Bioethical Inq. 2022;19(3):433–43.

Ferryman K. The dangers of data colonialism in precision public health. Glob Policy. 2021;12:90–2.

Couldry N, Mejias UA. Data colonialism: rethinking big data’s relation to the contemporary subject. Telev New Media. 2019;20(4):336–49.

Organization WH. Ethics and governance of artificial intelligence for health: WHO guidance. 2021.

Metcalf J, Moss E. Owning ethics: corporate logics, silicon valley, and the institutionalization of ethics. Soc Res Int Q. 2019;86(2):449–76.

Data Protection Act - OFFICE OF THE DATA PROTECTION COMMISSIONER KENYA [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Sep 30]. https://www.odpc.go.ke/dpa-act/ .

Sharon T, Lucivero F. Introduction to the special theme: the expansion of the health data ecosystem–rethinking data ethics and governance. Big Data & Society. Volume 6. London, England: SAGE Publications Sage UK; 2019. p. 2053951719852969.

Reisman D, Schultz J, Crawford K, Whittaker M. Algorithmic impact assessments: a practical Framework for Public Agency. AI Now. 2018.

Morgan RK. Environmental impact assessment: the state of the art. Impact Assess Proj Apprais. 2012;30(1):5–14.

Samuel G, Richie C. Reimagining research ethics to include environmental sustainability: a principled approach, including a case study of data-driven health research. J Med Ethics. 2023;49(6):428–33.

Kwete X, Tang K, Chen L, Ren R, Chen Q, Wu Z, et al. Decolonizing global health: what should be the target of this movement and where does it lead us? Glob Health Res Policy. 2022;7(1):3.

Abimbola S, Asthana S, Montenegro C, Guinto RR, Jumbam DT, Louskieter L, et al. Addressing power asymmetries in global health: imperatives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS Med. 2021;18(4):e1003604.

Benatar S. Politics, power, poverty and global health: systems and frames. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2016;5(10):599.

Download references


We would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of the attendees of GFBR 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. This paper is authored by members of the GFBR 2022 Planning Committee. We would like to acknowledge additional members Tamra Lysaght, National University of Singapore, and Niresh Bhagwandin, South African Medical Research Council, for their input during the planning stages and as reviewers of the applications to attend the Forum.

This work was supported by Wellcome [222525/Z/21/Z], the US National Institutes of Health, the UK Medical Research Council (part of UK Research and Innovation), and the South African Medical Research Council through funding to the Global Forum on Bioethics in Research.

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

Department of Physical Therapy, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Department of Philosophy and Classics, University of Ghana, Legon-Accra, Ghana

Caesar A. Atuire

Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Phaik Yeong Cheah

Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University, Bogotá, Colombia

Armando Guio Español

Department of Radiology and Informatics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

Judy Wawira Gichoya

Health Ethics & Governance Unit, Research for Health Department, Science Division, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Adrienne Hunt & Katherine Littler

African Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Data Intensive Science, Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Daudi Jjingo

ISI Foundation, Turin, Italy

Daniela Paolotti

Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland

Effy Vayena

Joint Centre for Bioethics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar


JS led the writing, contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. JA contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. CA contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. PYC contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. AE contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. JWG contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. AH contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. DJ contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. KL contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. DP contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper. EV contributed to conceptualization and analysis, critically reviewed and provided feedback on drafts of this paper, and provided final approval of the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to James Shaw .

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate.

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Competing interests.

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ . The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ ) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article.

Shaw, J., Ali, J., Atuire, C.A. et al. Research ethics and artificial intelligence for global health: perspectives from the global forum on bioethics in research. BMC Med Ethics 25 , 46 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-024-01044-w

Download citation

Received : 31 October 2023

Accepted : 01 April 2024

Published : 18 April 2024

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-024-01044-w

Share this article

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Research ethics
  • Global health

BMC Medical Ethics

ISSN: 1472-6939

example of a research paper on adhd


Researchers unlock potential of 2D magnetic devices for future computing

Imagine a future where computers can learn and make decisions in ways that mimic human thinking, but at a speed and efficiency that are orders of magnitude greater than the current capability of computers.

A research team at the University of Wyoming created an innovative method to control tiny magnetic states within ultrathin, two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals magnets -- a process akin to how flipping a light switch controls a bulb.

"Our discovery could lead to advanced memory devices that store more data and consume less power or enable the development of entirely new types of computers that can quickly solve problems that are currently intractable," says Jifa Tian, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Physics and Astronomy and interim director of UW's Center for Quantum Information Science and Engineering.

Tian was corresponding author of a paper, titled "Tunneling current-controlled spin states in few-layer van der Waals magnets," that was published today (May 1) in Nature Communications , an open access, multidisciplinary journal dedicated to publishing high-quality research in all areas of the biological, health, physical, chemical, Earth, social, mathematical, applied and engineering sciences.

Van der Waals materials are made up of strongly bonded 2D layers that are bound in the third dimension through weaker van der Waals forces. For example, graphite is a van der Waals material that isbroadly used in industry in electrodes, lubricants, fibers, heat exchangers and batteries. The nature of the van der Waals forces between layers allows researchers to use Scotch tape to peel the layers into atomic thickness.

The team developed a device known as a magnetic tunnel junction, which uses chromium triiodide -- a 2D insulating magnet only a few atoms thick -- sandwiched between two layers of graphene. By sending a tiny electric current -- called a tunneling current -- through this sandwich, the direction of the magnet's orientation of the magnetic domains (around 100 nanometers in size) can be dictated within the individual chromium triiodide layers, Tian says.

Specifically, "this tunneling current not only can control the switching direction between two stable spin states, but also induces and manipulates switching between metastable spin states, called stochastic switching," says ZhuangEn Fu, a graduate student in Tian's research lab and now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland.

"This breakthrough is not just intriguing; it's highly practical. It consumes three orders of magnitude smaller energy than traditional methods, akin to swapping an old lightbulb for an LED, marking it a potential game-changer for future technology," Tian says. "Our research could lead to the development of novel computing devices that are faster, smaller and more energy-efficient and powerful than ever before. Our research marks a significant advancement in magnetism at the 2D limit and sets the stage for new, powerful computing platforms, such as probabilistic computers."

Traditional computers use bits to store information as 0's and 1's. This binary code is the foundation of all classic computing processes. Quantum computers use quantum bits that can represent both "0" and "1" at the same time, increasing processing power exponentially.

"In our work, we've developed what you might think of as a probabilistic bit, which can switch between '0' and '1' (two spin states) based on the tunneling current controlled probabilities," Tian says. "These bits are based on the unique properties of ultrathin 2D magnets and can be linked together in a way that is similar to neurons in the brain to form a new kind of computer, known as a probabilistic computer.

"What makes these new computers potentially revolutionary is their ability to handle tasks that are incredibly challenging for traditional and even quantum computers, such as certain types of complex machine learning tasks and data processing problems," Tian continues. "They are naturally tolerant to errors, simple in design and take up less space, which could lead to more efficient and powerful computing technologies."

Hua Chen, an associate professor of physics at Colorado State University, and Allan MacDonald, a professor of physics at the University of Texas-Austin, collaborated to develop a theoretical model that elucidates how tunneling currents influence spin states in the 2D magnetic tunnel junctions. Other contributors were from Penn State University, Northeastern University and the National Institute for Materials Science in Namiki, Tsukuba, Japan.

The study was funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Energy; Wyoming NASA EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research); the National Science Foundation; and the World Premier International Research Center Initiative and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, both in Japan.

  • Spintronics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Energy Technology
  • Spintronics Research
  • Computers and Internet
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Knot theory
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Photography
  • Application software
  • Nuclear fusion
  • Scanning electron microscope

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Wyoming . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference :

  • ZhuangEn Fu, Piumi I. Samarawickrama, John Ackerman, Yanglin Zhu, Zhiqiang Mao, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Wenyong Wang, Yuri Dahnovsky, Mingzhong Wu, TeYu Chien, Jinke Tang, Allan H. MacDonald, Hua Chen, Jifa Tian. Tunneling current-controlled spin states in few-layer van der Waals magnets . Nature Communications , 2024; 15 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-47820-5

Cite This Page :

Explore More

  • Far-Reaching Effects of Exercise
  • Hidden Connections Between Brain and Body
  • Novel Genetic Plant Regeneration Approach
  • Early Human Occupation of China
  • Journey of Inhaled Plastic Particle Pollution
  • Earth-Like Environment On Ancient Mars
  • A 'Cosmic Glitch' in Gravity
  • Time Zones Strongly Influence NBA Results
  • Climate Change and Mercury Through the Eons
  • Iconic Horsehead Nebula

Trending Topics

Strange & offbeat.

ADHD in Girls Research Paper

Academic Writing Service

Sample ADHD in Girls Research Paper. Browse other research paper examples and check the list of argumentative research paper topics for more inspiration. If you need a research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help. This is how your paper can get an A! Also, chech our custom research proposal writing service for professional assistance. We offer high-quality assignments for reasonable rates.

This research paper investigates the critical issue of gender differences in the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), focusing specifically on girls. It explores the historical context of ADHD diagnosis, the varying manifestation of symptoms between genders, and the prevalent gender bias that has led to underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of girls with ADHD. Drawing on a comprehensive literature review, this study sheds light on the multifaceted factors contributing to gender bias, including healthcare professionals’ perceptions, societal stereotypes, and cultural influences. Real-life case studies and personal narratives of girls with ADHD further illustrate the consequences of this bias on academic, social, and emotional outcomes. The paper advocates for heightened awareness, education, and training among healthcare providers and proposes strategies to address gender bias in ADHD diagnosis. By emphasizing the urgent need for a more equitable and gender-sensitive approach, this research paper underscores the significance of ensuring that girls with ADHD receive accurate diagnoses and appropriate support for their unique needs.

Academic Writing, Editing, Proofreading, And Problem Solving Services

Get 10% off with 24start discount code, i. introduction.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can significantly impact an individual’s daily functioning (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). With an estimated prevalence rate of 5-10% in children and adolescents (Polanczyk et al., 2015), ADHD has garnered extensive research and clinical attention over the years. While the disorder affects individuals across genders, this paper delves into a specific facet of ADHD diagnosis—the gender differences in its identification and evaluation.

ADHD is not gender-exclusive; however, research has consistently shown that it is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls (Rucklidge, 2010). This gender discrepancy in diagnosis has sparked concerns and debates within the medical and academic communities. The underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of ADHD in girls raises critical questions about the accuracy of assessment tools, the influence of societal stereotypes, and the potential consequences for girls’ academic and emotional well-being.

The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively examine the gender differences in the diagnosis of ADHD, shedding light on the factors contributing to this disparity and its far-reaching implications. By exploring the historical context of ADHD diagnosis, analyzing the role of healthcare professionals, and investigating societal and cultural influences, this study aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the issue. Ultimately, the research seeks to address the urgent need for greater awareness, education, and gender-sensitive diagnostic practices to ensure equitable support for all individuals with ADHD, regardless of their gender. Thus, the central research question guiding this study is: “What are the key factors contributing to gender differences in the diagnosis of ADHD, and what strategies can be employed to reduce gender bias in its assessment?”

II. Literature Review

Diagnosis and prevalence of adhd.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been the subject of extensive research, with a particular emphasis on its diagnosis and prevalence. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association (2013), provides the primary diagnostic criteria for ADHD, emphasizing the presence of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity symptoms. Estimates suggest a prevalence rate of 5-10% in children and adolescents (Polanczyk et al., 2015). While these criteria serve as the foundation for diagnosis, the process is intricate, involving multiple assessments, observations, and information gathering from various sources, such as parents, teachers, and clinicians (Thomas et al., 2015).

Historical Evolution of ADHD Diagnosis

The historical context of ADHD diagnosis has undergone significant transformation. Initially termed “Minimal Brain Dysfunction” in the 1960s, it was later recognized as “Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood” in the DSM-II (1973) (Rader et al., 2009). Subsequent revisions and the introduction of the DSM-III (1980) brought forth the term “Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD),” which evolved into “ADHD” in the DSM-IV (1994). These changes reflect evolving perspectives on the disorder, with increased attention to its neurodevelopmental nature (Faraone et al., 2015).

Gender-Related Differences in ADHD Symptoms

Research has consistently shown gender-related differences in ADHD symptoms and manifestation. Boys are more likely to exhibit externalizing symptoms, such as hyperactivity and impulsivity, which align more readily with traditional ADHD stereotypes (Gaub & Carlson, 1997). In contrast, girls with ADHD often present with internalizing symptoms, including inattention, which may be less overt and, consequently, underdiagnosed (Quinn & Madhoo, 2014). This gender-specific symptom presentation contributes to the diagnostic gap observed between boys and girls (Rucklidge, 2010).

Gaps in Current Research on ADHD in Girls

Despite growing recognition of gender differences in ADHD diagnosis, there are notable gaps in current research. Limited studies have explored the experiences of girls with ADHD and the specific challenges they face, both academically and socially. Additionally, there is a dearth of research investigating the intersectionality of gender with other factors, such as race and socioeconomic status, in ADHD diagnosis. Understanding these complex interactions is essential for developing targeted interventions and ensuring equitable assessment practices.

In sum, the existing literature provides valuable insights into the diagnosis and prevalence of ADHD, its historical evolution, and the gender-related differences in symptom presentation. However, further research is needed to address the gaps in our understanding of ADHD in girls and to develop more inclusive and accurate diagnostic practices.

III. Theoretical Framework

Theories and models related to gender and adhd diagnosis.

Understanding the gender bias in ADHD diagnosis requires examining relevant theories and models that elucidate the intricate relationship between gender and mental health assessment. One such framework is the Gender Bias Model proposed by Rutter (1989), which posits that diagnostic criteria for disorders like ADHD may be inherently biased towards male symptomatology, potentially leading to underdiagnosis in girls. Additionally, the Intersectionality Theory (Crenshaw, 1989) is pertinent in highlighting how gender intersects with other factors such as race and socioeconomic status, creating unique experiences and diagnostic challenges for diverse groups of girls with ADHD. These theoretical perspectives underscore the importance of considering multiple dimensions of identity in diagnosis.

Social and Cultural Factors Contributing to Gender Bias

Gender bias in ADHD diagnosis is not solely a product of clinical assessment tools but is also influenced by social and cultural factors. Research has shown that stereotypes about gender and behavior contribute to a gendered lens through which clinicians and educators perceive symptoms (Nadeau et al., 2011). For example, girls may be expected to conform to a quieter, more attentive demeanor in school, making their ADHD symptoms less conspicuous and leading to delayed or missed diagnosis. Additionally, societal norms that associate hyperactivity with boys can result in a bias against diagnosing girls who exhibit hyperactive symptoms (Quinn, 2008).

Biological Differences and ADHD Diagnosis

Biological differences between genders can also impact ADHD diagnosis. Neuroimaging studies have revealed differences in brain structure and function between males and females (Costa et al., 2017). These neurobiological distinctions may contribute to variations in symptom presentation, response to treatment, and the manifestation of co-occurring conditions, further complicating the diagnostic process. Additionally, hormonal fluctuations during adolescence, which differ between boys and girls, can influence symptom severity and diagnostic accuracy (Galanter et al., 2003).

In summary, the theoretical framework for understanding gender bias in ADHD diagnosis involves considering models such as the Gender Bias Model and Intersectionality Theory. It also involves recognizing the influence of social and cultural factors, including stereotypes, and the impact of biological differences between genders on symptom presentation and diagnosis. These factors collectively contribute to the complexity of the gender bias issue and underscore the need for more nuanced and equitable diagnostic practices.

IV. Gender Bias in ADHD Diagnosis

Studies highlighting gender bias.

Numerous studies have illuminated the pervasive gender bias in ADHD diagnosis. For instance, a study by Bruchmüller et al. (2012) found that teachers and clinicians were more likely to identify hyperactivity as a symptom in boys and inattention as a symptom in girls, reflecting gender-stereotyped expectations. Similarly, Gaub and Carlson (1997) reported that girls with ADHD were more likely to be overlooked due to their less disruptive behavior compared to boys. These findings underscore the presence of stereotypical perceptions that affect the recognition of ADHD symptoms in girls.

Statistics on Underdiagnosis and Misdiagnosis

Statistics and data further highlight the significant underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of girls with ADHD. A meta-analysis by Gershon (2002) revealed that girls were less likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis compared to boys, despite similar symptom severity. The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) reported that girls with ADHD are 2.5 times less likely to be diagnosed compared to boys (NICHQ, 2012). Additionally, Quinn (2008) noted that girls with ADHD are frequently misdiagnosed with other conditions, such as anxiety or depression, due to the subtler nature of their symptoms. Such statistics underscore the magnitude of the gender bias issue within the diagnostic process.

Consequences of Underdiagnosis

The underdiagnosis of girls with ADHD has profound consequences across academic, social, and emotional domains. Academically, girls with undiagnosed ADHD often experience lower educational attainment, reduced performance on standardized tests, and decreased academic self-esteem (Raggi et al., 2012). Socially, underdiagnosis can lead to peer rejection and difficulties in forming meaningful friendships, exacerbating feelings of isolation and marginalization (Young & Amarasinghe, 2010). Emotionally, untreated ADHD in girls is associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues (Quinn & Madhoo, 2014). These cumulative impacts can persist into adulthood, affecting career opportunities, relationships, and overall quality of life.

In conclusion, numerous studies and statistics provide compelling evidence of gender bias in ADHD diagnosis, with girls being underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to stereotypical perceptions of ADHD symptoms. The consequences of this bias are far-reaching, affecting girls’ academic, social, and emotional well-being. Recognizing and addressing this bias is essential to ensure that girls with ADHD receive the appropriate support and interventions they need to thrive.

V. Factors Contributing to Gender Bias in ADHD Diagnosis

Gender bias in the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex issue influenced by a multitude of factors. This section delves into the various elements contributing to this bias, including the role of healthcare professionals, societal and cultural factors, as well as stereotypes and gender norms.

Role of Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in ADHD diagnosis, yet their perceptions and biases can inadvertently perpetuate gender disparities. Research by Bruchmüller et al. (2012) found that teachers and clinicians tend to ascribe hyperactivity symptoms to boys and inattention symptoms to girls, reflecting gender-stereotyped expectations. These biases can impact the questions asked during assessments and the observations made, ultimately affecting the accuracy of diagnosis. Furthermore, a lack of gender-specific training in ADHD assessment may contribute to the perpetuation of these biases among healthcare providers (Quinn & Madhoo, 2014).

Societal and Cultural Factors

Societal and cultural factors play a significant role in shaping perceptions of ADHD and contribute to gender bias in diagnosis. The prevailing narrative that associates hyperactivity and impulsivity with boys and attentiveness with girls can lead to the underdiagnosis of girls who exhibit predominantly inattentive symptoms (Young & Amarasinghe, 2010). Cultural expectations regarding gender-appropriate behavior also play a part; girls may be encouraged to be quiet and compliant, making their ADHD symptoms less noticeable and less likely to trigger concern among parents and educators (Nadeau et al., 2011).

Influence of Stereotypes and Gender Norms

Stereotypes and gender norms exert a profound influence on ADHD diagnosis. Stereotypes portray boys as energetic and disruptive, aligning with the hyperactive presentation of ADHD, while girls are often expected to be more attentive and organized, aligning with the inattentive presentation (Gaub & Carlson, 1997). These stereotypes can lead to a confirmation bias, where clinicians unconsciously seek symptoms that align with their preconceived notions, potentially missing ADHD in girls who do not conform to these expectations (Rucklidge, 2010).

Moreover, gender norms that dictate acceptable behavior can discourage girls from exhibiting externalizing symptoms, as they may be perceived as less socially acceptable (Nadeau et al., 2011). Girls with ADHD might internalize their struggles, leading to a masked presentation that escapes diagnosis (Quinn, 2008).

In summary, the gender bias in ADHD diagnosis is multifaceted, with healthcare professionals’ perceptions, societal and cultural factors, and the influence of stereotypes and gender norms all contributing to this issue. Addressing gender bias in diagnosis requires comprehensive strategies that encompass both professional training and broader societal awareness to ensure equitable assessment and support for individuals with ADHD, irrespective of their gender.

VI. Diagnosis and Treatment Disparities in ADHD

Disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) between boys and girls are of substantial concern. This section delves into the existing disparities in ADHD treatment and interventions, shedding light on the implications of these inequities for long-term outcomes, particularly for girls with ADHD.

Disparities in Treatment and Interventions

  • Medication Prescriptions: Boys with ADHD are more likely to be prescribed medication as a primary treatment (Visser et al., 2014). Stimulant medications like methylphenidate are often the first-line treatment for ADHD. However, due to their quieter and less disruptive symptom presentation, girls are less likely to be prescribed these medications, which can lead to delayed or inadequate treatment (Quinn & Madhoo, 2014).
  • Behavioral Interventions: Behavioral interventions, such as parent training and school-based strategies, are essential components of ADHD management (Sonuga-Barke et al., 2013). However, research suggests that girls with ADHD are less likely to receive behavioral interventions than boys (Chronis-Tuscano et al., 2010). This discrepancy may result from underdiagnosis, as well as the perception that girls’ symptoms are less severe.
  • Access to Special Education Services: In the educational setting, boys with ADHD are more likely to be placed in special education programs than girls (Langberg et al., 2010). This discrepancy may reflect the misalignment between girls’ symptomatology and traditional educational expectations, leading to a lack of appropriate educational support.

Implications for Long-term Outcomes

  • Academic Performance: Disparities in diagnosis and treatment can have enduring consequences for academic performance. Girls with undiagnosed or untreated ADHD may struggle in school due to difficulties with organization, attention, and time management (Raggi et al., 2012). These academic challenges can persist throughout their educational journey, affecting their long-term prospects.
  • Social and Emotional Well-being: Undiagnosed or under-treated ADHD in girls can contribute to feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression (Quinn & Madhoo, 2014). Girls may internalize their struggles and develop negative self-perceptions, which can impact their social relationships and emotional well-being in the long term.
  • Career and Life Outcomes: The academic and emotional challenges stemming from disparities in diagnosis and treatment can have ripple effects into adulthood. Girls with untreated ADHD may face obstacles in pursuing higher education and establishing successful careers (Rucklidge, 2010). The untreated condition can affect their ability to manage responsibilities and relationships, impacting overall life satisfaction.
  • Healthcare Disparities: The disparities in ADHD diagnosis and treatment contribute to gender-based healthcare disparities, affecting the overall well-being of girls with ADHD. These disparities may continue into adulthood, with implications for access to mental health services, employment, and financial stability.

In conclusion, disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD between boys and girls have profound implications for long-term outcomes. These disparities can affect academic performance, social and emotional well-being, career prospects, and overall life satisfaction for girls with ADHD. Addressing these disparities is essential to ensure that all individuals with ADHD receive the appropriate interventions and support they need to thrive, regardless of their gender.

VII. Case Studies and Personal Narratives

The gender bias in the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not just an abstract issue but one with tangible impacts on the lives of girls. In this section, we present real-life case studies and personal narratives of girls with ADHD to provide a vivid illustration of the gender differences in diagnosis and the challenges they face.

Case Study 1: Sarah’s Struggle

Sarah, a bright and diligent student, experienced profound academic challenges that persisted into middle school. Despite her evident struggles with inattention and organization, her symptoms went unnoticed for years. Teachers and school staff attributed her difficulties to laziness or a lack of motivation, reinforcing stereotypes. Sarah’s parents sought a diagnosis only after significant advocacy, and she was found to have ADHD, predominantly inattentive presentation. Her delayed diagnosis had already taken a toll on her self-esteem and academic confidence.

Personal Narrative 1: Emily’s Silent Struggle

Emily, now in her twenties, recalls her experience with ADHD as a silent struggle. She exhibited primarily inattentive symptoms, which were often overshadowed by her well-behaved demeanor. Her teachers praised her for being quiet and attentive, but beneath the surface, she battled with disorganization and procrastination. Emily’s parents and teachers did not recognize her symptoms as ADHD until late adolescence, leaving her feeling misunderstood and struggling with untreated ADHD during crucial years of development.

Case Study 2: Mia’s Misdiagnosis

Mia, a high-energy and spirited girl, was frequently labeled as “difficult” by her teachers and peers. She exhibited hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, but her struggles with inattention went unnoticed. Despite her exuberance, she was not evaluated for ADHD until her late teens. Prior to her diagnosis, Mia was misdiagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and treated for behavioral issues rather than underlying ADHD, resulting in years of ineffective interventions.

Personal Narrative 2: Ava’s Dual Diagnosis

Ava’s journey with ADHD took a unique turn when she was diagnosed at a young age. Her hyperactive and impulsive symptoms were readily identified, leading to an early diagnosis. However, Ava’s teachers often overlooked her inattentive symptoms, assuming that her high energy was incompatible with inattention. As a result, she struggled academically and socially, despite her initial diagnosis. It wasn’t until adolescence that Ava’s inattentive symptoms were recognized and treated alongside her hyperactivity.

These real-life case studies and personal narratives offer poignant examples of the gender differences in ADHD diagnosis. They highlight how the stereotypical expectations surrounding girls’ behavior and the subtler presentation of inattention can lead to underdiagnosis, misdiagnosis, and delayed treatment. These stories emphasize the importance of recognizing and addressing gender bias in ADHD assessment to ensure that girls with ADHD receive timely and appropriate support.

VIII. Strategies for Addressing Gender Bias in ADHD Diagnosis

Addressing gender bias in the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses awareness, education, training, and a more gender-sensitive diagnostic process. In this section, we propose strategies to mitigate gender bias and promote equitable ADHD assessment.

Awareness and Education

  • Public Awareness Campaigns: Launch public awareness campaigns to educate parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals about the diversity in ADHD symptom presentation among boys and girls. These campaigns can dispel stereotypes and highlight the need for gender-sensitive evaluation (Dendy, 2006).
  • Parent and Teacher Workshops: Offer workshops for parents and educators to provide them with the knowledge and tools necessary to recognize ADHD symptoms in girls, including inattentive symptoms. These workshops can emphasize that ADHD can manifest differently in girls and that early detection is crucial (Nadeau et al., 2011).
  • School-Based Programs: Implement school-based programs that promote ADHD awareness and inclusion. Encourage teachers to assess students for ADHD without gender bias and to provide tailored support to those in need (DuPaul et al., 2016).

Healthcare Professional Training

  • Gender-Sensitive Training: Incorporate gender-sensitive training modules into the education and continuing professional development of healthcare providers, including pediatricians, psychologists, and educators. Such training should emphasize the importance of recognizing the gender-related differences in ADHD symptomatology (Quinn & Madhoo, 2014).
  • Standardized Assessment Tools: Encourage the development and utilization of assessment tools that account for gender differences in symptom presentation. These tools should include comprehensive questions and observations that encompass the full spectrum of ADHD manifestations in both boys and girls (Thomas et al., 2015).

Comprehensive and Gender-Sensitive Diagnostic Approach

  • Holistic Evaluation: Promote a holistic evaluation process that considers not only standardized assessments but also qualitative data, parent and teacher observations, and individual narratives. Encourage healthcare professionals to explore the context and nuances of each case (Bruchmüller et al., 2012).
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Foster interdisciplinary collaboration between healthcare providers, educators, and mental health professionals. Encourage open communication and information-sharing to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the child’s functioning across different settings (Sonuga-Barke et al., 2013).
  • Cultural Competence: Ensure that healthcare professionals are culturally competent and able to address the intersectionality of gender, race, and socioeconomic status in ADHD diagnosis. Consider how cultural factors may influence symptom presentation and interpretation (Faraone et al., 2015).

In conclusion, addressing gender bias in ADHD diagnosis necessitates a multifaceted approach that spans public awareness, education, and training for healthcare professionals. By promoting a more comprehensive, gender-sensitive, and culturally competent diagnostic process, we can strive for equitable assessment and support for all individuals with ADHD, regardless of their gender. This approach not only benefits girls but also contributes to a more accurate understanding of ADHD in diverse populations.

IX. Future Research Directions

While significant progress has been made in understanding gender bias in the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in girls, numerous research avenues remain unexplored. The following section outlines areas for future research on ADHD in girls and suggests potential studies and interventions to address the gender bias issue.

Research Areas:

  • Longitudinal Studies: Conduct longitudinal studies that follow girls diagnosed with ADHD throughout their developmental stages into adulthood. These studies can examine the long-term impact of gender-related disparities in diagnosis and treatment on academic, social, and career outcomes.
  • Intersectionality: Investigate the intersectionality of gender with other factors, such as race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, in ADHD diagnosis. Research should explore how multiple dimensions of identity influence symptom presentation, diagnostic experiences, and access to resources.
  • Qualitative Research: Utilize qualitative research methods, including in-depth interviews and focus groups, to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of girls with ADHD. Qualitative research can reveal nuanced perspectives on the challenges they face and inform tailored interventions.
  • Healthcare Provider Perspectives: Examine the perspectives of healthcare providers, including pediatricians, psychologists, and educators, regarding gender bias in ADHD diagnosis. Investigate the factors that contribute to diagnostic disparities and the barriers they encounter in recognizing ADHD in girls.

Potential Studies and Interventions:

  • Early Screening Programs: Develop and evaluate early screening programs in schools and healthcare settings that consider gender-sensitive assessment tools. These programs can help identify ADHD in girls at an early age, enabling timely interventions (DuPaul et al., 2016).
  • Gender-Responsive Treatment Approaches: Investigate the effectiveness of gender-responsive treatment approaches that consider the unique needs of girls with ADHD. Such approaches might incorporate strategies to address co-occurring conditions like anxiety and depression (Quinn & Madhoo, 2014).
  • Teacher Training Programs: Implement teacher training programs that focus on recognizing ADHD symptoms in both boys and girls. Assess the impact of these programs on reducing gender bias in referrals for assessment and intervention (Langberg et al., 2010).
  • Peer Support Programs: Explore the benefits of peer support programs for girls with ADHD. Investigate how peer mentoring and group interventions can improve self-esteem, social skills, and academic performance (Young & Amarasinghe, 2010).
  • Cultural Competence Training: Develop and assess cultural competence training for healthcare professionals that addresses the influence of culture and ethnicity on ADHD diagnosis. Evaluate the effectiveness of these training programs in reducing disparities among diverse populations (Faraone et al., 2015).

In conclusion, future research on ADHD in girls should continue to explore various dimensions of this complex issue, from the intersectionality of identity to the development of innovative interventions. By addressing the gaps in our understanding and implementing evidence-based strategies, we can work towards a more equitable and gender-sensitive approach to ADHD diagnosis and support.

X. Conclusion

In this comprehensive exploration of gender bias in the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), we have delved into the historical evolution of ADHD diagnosis, gender-related differences in symptom presentation, the factors contributing to gender bias, disparities in treatment and interventions, and the compelling stories of girls who have navigated the complex landscape of ADHD diagnosis. The main findings and arguments underscore the urgency of addressing this critical issue.

Gender bias in ADHD diagnosis is evident in the underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of girls, rooted in stereotypes, societal norms, and the subtler presentation of symptoms. Studies have illuminated the stark disparities in diagnosis rates between boys and girls, with significant implications for their academic, social, and emotional well-being.

The significance of addressing gender differences in ADHD diagnosis cannot be overstated. It goes beyond ensuring equitable healthcare access; it is about recognizing the unique needs and potential of every individual, regardless of their gender. Girls with ADHD often face hidden struggles, battling symptoms that are less conspicuous but equally debilitating. Failing to diagnose and support them appropriately robs them of the opportunity to reach their full potential and contributes to lifelong challenges.

As we conclude, we issue a call to action. We must raise awareness about gender bias in ADHD diagnosis, not only among healthcare professionals but also in schools, communities, and families. We need more research that delves into the experiences of girls with ADHD, considering the intersectionality of gender, culture, and socioeconomic status. We must prioritize the development of gender-sensitive assessment tools and treatment approaches, ensuring that girls with ADHD receive the support they need.

The stories of Sarah, Emily, Mia, and Ava remind us of the real lives affected by this issue. It is our collective responsibility to challenge stereotypes, advocate for change, and work towards a future where girls with ADHD are recognized, understood, and empowered to thrive. By fostering awareness, conducting further research, and implementing gender-sensitive practices, we can pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable approach to ADHD diagnosis and support for all individuals, regardless of their gender.


  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing.
  • Bruchmüller, K., Margraf, J., & Schneider, S. (2012). Is ADHD diagnosed in accord with diagnostic criteria? Overdiagnosis and influence of client gender on diagnosis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(1), 128-138.
  • Chronis-Tuscano, A., Seymour, K. E., Stein, M. A., Jones, H. A., Jiles, C. D., & Rooney, M. E. (2010). Efficacy of osmotic-release oral system (OROS) methylphenidate for mothers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Preliminary report of effects on ADHD symptoms and parenting. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 71(12), 1517-1523.
  • Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 139-167.
  • Dendy, C. Z. (2006). The adolescence of girls with ADHD. In L. N. Robison & P. O. Quinn (Eds.), Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (pp. 115-134). Greenwood Publishing Group.
  • DuPaul, G. J., Weyandt, L. L., & Janusis, G. M. (2016). ADHD in the classroom: Effective intervention strategies. The Guilford Press.
  • Faraone, S. V., Perlis, R. H., Doyle, A. E., Smoller, J. W., Goralnick, J. J., Holmgren, M. A., & Sklar, P. (2005). Molecular genetics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 57(11), 1313-1323.
  • Gaub, M., & Carlson, C. L. (1997). Behavioral characteristics of DSM-IV ADHD subtypes in a school-based population. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 25(2), 103-111.
  • Gershon, J. (2002). A meta-analytic review of gender differences in ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 5(3), 143-154.
  • Langberg, J. M., Epstein, J. N., Altaye, M., Molina, B. S. G., Arnold, L. E., & Vitiello, B. (2010). The transition to middle school is associated with changes in the developmental trajectory of ADHD symptomatology in young adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 39(5), 651-665.


example of a research paper on adhd


  1. (PDF) The impact of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in

    example of a research paper on adhd

  2. (PDF) Neuropsychological and neurophysiological benefits from white

    example of a research paper on adhd

  3. 😂 Adhd research paper. How To Write A Research Paper On ADHD?. 2019-01-23

    example of a research paper on adhd

  4. ADHD Commentary

    example of a research paper on adhd

  5. (PDF) Long-Term Outcomes of ADHD: Academic Achievement and Performance

    example of a research paper on adhd

  6. Adhd research paper ideas

    example of a research paper on adhd


  1. The Teen Years with ADHD: A Practical, Proactive Parent’s Guide with Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D

  2. Argument Paper ADHD

  3. How to Use the Example Research Paper

  4. How to Present at an International Conference?

  5. What is a research paper? How to read a research paper?

  6. Case Study: ADHD


  1. ADHD: Reviewing the Causes and Evaluating Solutions

    1. Introduction. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD) presenting with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It can be classified in three subtypes, depending on the intensity of the symptoms: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, and combined [ 1, 2 ].

  2. ADHD Research Paper

    ADHD Research Paper. This sample ADHD research paper features: 8200 words (approx. 27 pages), an outline, and a bibliography with 14 sources. Browse other research paper examples for more inspiration. If you need a thorough research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help.

  3. The Impact of Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    A robust body of evidence suggests that children with ADHD are at increased risk for other co-occurring conditions, including depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders (Asherson et al., 2016; Costa Dias et al., 2013).Additionally, ADHD is associated with lower educational or occupational achievement, reduced social functioning (Costa Dias et al., 2013; Franke et al., 2018), and ...

  4. Psychological Treatments in Adult ADHD: A Systematic Review

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and or impulsivity. First line treatment is medication; however, medication alone may not provide sufficient functional improvement for some patients, or be universally tolerated. A recent surge in research to treat ADHD using non-pharmacological ...

  5. A systematic meta-review of systematic reviews on attention deficit

    A total of 231 systematic reviews and meta-analyses met the eligibility criteria. Results: The prevalence of ADHD was 7.2% for children and adolescents and 2.5% for adults, though with major uncertainty due to methodological variation in the existing literature. There is evidence for both biological and social risk factors for ADHD, but this ...

  6. Understanding and Supporting Attention Deficit Hyperactivity ...

    Previous research of teachers' ADHD knowledge is mixed, with the findings of some studies indicating that teachers have good knowledge of ADHD (Mohr-Jensen et al., 2019; Ohan et al., 2008) and others suggesting that their knowledge is limited (Latouche & Gascoigne, 2019; Perold et al., 2010).Ohan et al. surveyed 140 primary school teachers in Australia who reported having experience of ...

  7. Assessing adult ADHD: New research and perspectives

    ADHD. neuropsychological assessment. adults. diagnosis. overdiagnosis. It is our pleasure to introduce this special issue of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology on the assessment of adult ADHD. We present a mix of empirical and review articles covering different aspects of the topic, all of them trying to offer useful ...

  8. The impact of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in

    Conclusion This research highlights the experiences of adults with ADHD. It is important for practitioners to be aware of the perceived positive and negative effects of the disorder, and how it ...

  9. ADHD Research Paper

    Sample ADHD Research Paper. Browse other research paper examples and check the list of argumentative research paper topics for more inspiration. If you need a research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help. This is how your paper can get an A!

  10. Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Research Paper Example

    Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental illness that is characterized by the lack of the ability of an individual to concentrate or stay still. This is a problematic disorder for all individuals that have been diagnosed with it, but it is particularly difficult for students with the disease to participate in school activities.

  11. ADHD in the Workplace Research Paper

    Sample ADHD in the Workplace Research Paper. Browse other research paper examples and check the list of argumentative research paper topics for more inspiration. If you need a research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help. This is how your paper can get an A!

  12. 162 ADHD Topics for Essays & Research Papers

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in a Child. A child counselor works with children to help them become mentally and emotionally stable. The case that is examined in this essay is a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Drug-Free Therapy.

  13. PDF The Effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on The

    Statement of the Problem. The purpose of this study is to further explore, through the published literature, the social effects that ADHD has on a student's social skill development and how a. student's lack of social competence effects relationships with their peers. By exploring.

  14. The ADHD paper that triggered a backlash, and what it taught me

    Anita Thapar's research team faced a barrage of calls and e-mails, some of them hostile, following the publication of their paper on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Here's what she ...

  15. ADHD and Academic Performance Research Paper

    Sample ADHD and Academic Performance Research Paper. Browse other research paper examples and check the list of argumentative research paper topics for more inspiration. If you need a research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help.

  16. Research on ADHD

    Project to Learn About ADHD in Youth (PLAY) The Project to Learn About ADHD in Youth (PLAY) was a population-based research project with the University of South Carolina and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. It was conducted to shed more light on how many school-age children have ADHD, how the condition develops over time, what other conditions and risks children may ...

  17. ADHD in College Students Research Paper

    Prevalence of ADHD in College Students. The prevalence of ADHD among college students is a topic of growing concern. Studies indicate that the prevalence varies, with estimates ranging from 4% to 8% among college students in the United States (Hesson et al., 2019). However, the actual prevalence may be higher, as many individuals with ADHD ...

  18. Research ethics and artificial intelligence for global health

    The ethical governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in health care and public health continues to be an urgent issue for attention in policy, research, and practice. In this paper we report on central themes related to challenges and strategies for promoting ethics in research involving AI in global health, arising from the Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR), held in Cape Town ...

  19. Researchers unlock potential of 2D magnetic devices for future

    A research team at the University of Wyoming created an innovative method to control tiny magnetic states within ultrathin, two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals magnets -- a process akin to how ...

  20. ADHD in Girls Research Paper

    ADHD is not gender-exclusive; however, research has consistently shown that it is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls (Rucklidge, 2010). This gender discrepancy in diagnosis has sparked concerns and debates within the medical and academic communities. The underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of ADHD in girls raises critical questions ...