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Diagnosing Childhood ADHD The onset of childhood ADHD has increased drastically over the past fifteen years with new technology and information on the disorder. ADHD typically characterized by hyperactivity, inattention, and impulse reactions make it difficult to diagnose because of the vague symptoms. Due to such vague symptoms and descriptions outlining the disorder it is difficult to locate its exact causes. With more public awareness of the issue, more diagnosis are being created. However, the unknown is whether or not doctors diagnose the disorder too willingly without proper tests being done just to appease teachers and parents, or whether there is scientifically an increase in ADHD within young children. Sorting through the data analysis and predictions will determine whether ADHD is derived from environmental/geographic factors, heredity compensations, or is altogether a widely misdiagnosed disorder that needs to be corrected. In cases of specific disorders it is hard to pinpoint exactly one cause. In recent years certain doctors and researchers have given thought to geographic and cultural factors playing a role in the onset of ADHD. Researchers believe the ADHD diagnosed in childhood could be correlated to different cultural and regional factors around the world. Due to different cultures environmental differences, researchers believed this affected the different levels of ADHD diagnosis around the world (Barkley 1997). In a study published in the American Psychiatry Journal, through extensive hypothesis and tests the conclusion was that the geographic location played a limited role and that more neurological problems played a larger role in ADHD. However, there are some findings to indicate that it can affect certain children due to the nature vs. nurture within different regions and cultures, but correlation does not equal causation and is not the definitive cause of ADHD in children (Molina, 2003).

1 According to several studies like one documented, The Causes of ADHD in the journal of child psychology and psychiatry discovered that like environmental and geographical factors, heredity plays a part in a child being born with ADHD, but once again it is not the cause. Though it has been found that children whose parents or siblings were diagnosed with ADHD have more of a likelihood of also being diagnosed it is risky to rule that as the causation because in fact it would be incorrect (Thapar and Rice, 2006). Studies like the one published in the journal of child psychology and psychiatry have discovered a linkage between not only heredity, but also environmental factors that affect the course of ones life. Through the link between these two it is hypothesized that there are numerous more factors that could cause ADHD and it would be wrong to pin point one factor for causation purposes (Rutter 2006). The consensus for the population as a whole seems to believe that ADHD is over diagnosed and that putting labels on school children at a young age is harmful not to mention the medication taken because of the diagnosis. To many people the correlation of heredity and environmental differences is not enough information for a definitive answer. Though people believe it is highly misdiagnosed, a study published in a medical journal regarding the diagnosis of ADHD, through studies, discovered that it is not a misdiagnosis and doctors get the diagnosis right on nine in ten times with regards to school age children. It is believed that wide criticism on the subject is because of misinformation on the disorder and rather the lack of information and accurate descriptions of the symptoms of ADHD. It states In the study that numerous extensive tests are run to give the most accurate results and to say that it is misdiagnosed is to not give the right amount of attention that these kids need in order to live full and healthy lives (Thapar & Cooper, 2013).

References Molina, B., Pelham, & William, E. (2003). Childhood Predictors of Adolescent Substance Use in a Logitudinal Study of Children with ADHD. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 3, 497-507. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.112.3.497 Barkley, R. (1997). Behavioral Inhibition, Sustained Attention, and Executive Functions: Constructing a Unifying Theory of ADHD. Psychological Bulletin,121(1), 6594. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.121.1.65 Goldman, L., Genel, M., & Bezman R. (1998). Diagnosis and Treatment of AttenionDeficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents. American Medical Association, 279, 1100-1107. doi:10.1001/279.14.1100. Thapar, A., Cooper, M., Eyre, O., & Langley, K. (2013). Practitioner Review: What Have We Learned About the Causes of ADHD? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 3-16. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02611