Sociodemographic and Cultural Factors of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Introduction

The research topic of the current study is sociodemographic and cultural factors of attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The planned research will investigate socioeconomic and cultural factors the possible causes of ADHD and will design the research following the recommendations of Jacobsen (2016). The study is concentrated on this topic because there is evidence that the occurrences of ADHD are increasing worldwide (Safer, 2018). Increasing awareness and appearance of ADHD demands to development of contemporary methods of diagnostics and therapy for this impairment. This progress should increase the effectiveness of Healthcare administration and Healthcare Services. Thus, ADHD is of high relevance for health institutions, especially in the United States.

Main body

As was mentioned above, the main symptoms of ADHD are inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, which are usually diagnosed in childhood. The United States was the first to describe this impairment and start using medication-based treatment (Bergey, Filipe, Conrad, & Singh, 2018). Contemporary medicine approaches ADHD as a neurological, behavioral, and developmental disorder, but the specific determinants are still not revealed. The increase in prevalence and, therefore, the influence of ADHD is the general problem. The common diagnostic methods are directed into the consequences rather than into its causes and factors (Holdaway, Serrano, and Owens, 2017). As pharmacological treatment is one of the main approaches to ADHD therapy, psychostimulants are actively used to treat the symptoms. The stimulant prescription is increasing, which can result in several side effects (Bergey et al., 2018). Furthermore, there is a lack of longitudinal studies of ADHD dynamics in different ages (Arnold, Hodgkins, Kahle, Madhoo, & Kewley, 2020, p. 73). Nevertheless, ADHD can influence not only the lives of children and students at school age but also adolescents and adults.

The specific problem is the absence of an understanding of concrete factors of ADHD. Although it is commonly treated as a neurological disorder, no biological markers have been identified so far (Holdaway et al., 2017). Moreover, ADHD is likely a cultural and socioeconomic determinant because it appeared as a syndrome no early as the 20th century. Nowadays, children actively engage in the digital world and master electronic devices. Besides, many families live in urban areas and have to cope with a high level of informative noise, which can be particularly deteriorative for the fragile child’s nervous system.

Therefore, one of the research questions which the current study is going to address is if there is a statistically significant difference between the prevalence of ADHD in urban and rural areas. Two articles will be used in order to address this topic in the literature review. The first one is an article by Eilertsen et al. (2018), where genetic and environmental factors of ADHD are examined using longitudinal models. The second paper is a chapter by Holdaway et al. (2017) on assessment and intervention for ADHD in rural school settings. One of these two articles will be further described in detail.

The two next paragraphs will give a summary of the first article mentioned in the previous paragraph. The study by Eilertsen et al. (2018) investigates the genetic and environmental determinants of ADHD in children under age two. This research set out to test the hypothesis that there are “relative genetic and environmental contributions to ADHD” (Eilertsen et al., 2018, p. 2), and to measure the balance of genetic and environmental determinants underlying early ADHD. The study uses a questionnaire to obtain the measures and builds structural equation models for statistical analysis. The results indicate a high heritability of ADHD symptoms at age two and reveal both general and age-specific genetic influences.

Conclusion

This study provides the first comprehensive twin study of the genetic ADHD factors in children under age two. Moreover, the article gives a thorough analysis of genetic and environmental effects, along with age-specific contributions to ADHD manifestation. However, the paper does not draw a distinction between rural and urban environmental factors and does not fully explain why there is a particular interest in children under age two. Therefore, further research is needed to shed light on ADHD determinants and the planned investigation will address this question.

References

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.

Bergey, M. R., Filipe, A. M., Conrad, P., & Singh, I. (Eds.). (2018). Global perspectives on ADHD: social dimensions of diagnosis and treatment in sixteen countries. Baltimore, MD: JHU Press.

Eilertsen, E. M., Gjerde, L. C., Kendler, K. S., Røysamb, E., Aggen, S. H., Gustavson, K., … Ystrom, E. (2019). Development of ADHD symptoms in preschool children: Genetic and environmental contributions. Development and Psychopathology, 31(04), 1299–1305. Web.

Holdaway, A. S., Serrano, V. J., & Owens, J. S. (2017). Effective assessment and intervention for children with ADHD in rural elementary school settings. In K. D. Michael & J. P. Jameson (Eds.), Handbook of Rural School Mental Health (pp. 113-127). New York, NY: Springer, Cham.

Jacobsen, Kathryn H. (2016). Introduction to health research methods: A practical guide. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Safer, D. J. (2018). Is ADHD really increasing in youth? Journal of Attention Disorders, 22(2), 107-115.