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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


Untreated, ADHD can negatively affect a child's social and educational performance and can seriously damage his or her sense of self-esteem. ADHD children have impaired relationships with their peers, and may be looked upon as social outcasts. They may be perceived as slow learners or troublemakers in the classroom. Siblings and even parents may develop resentful feelings towards the ADHD child.

Some ADHD children also develop a conduct disorder problem. For those adolescents who have both ADHD and a conduct disorder, up to 25% go on to develop antisocial personality disorder and the criminal behavior, substance abuse, and high rate of suicide attempts that are symptomatic of it. Children diagnosed with ADHD are also more likely to have a learning disorder, a mood disorder such as depression, or an anxiety disorder.

Approximately 70–80% of ADHD patients treated with stimulant medication experience significant relief from symptoms, at least in the short-term. Approximately half of ADHD children seem to "outgrow" the disorder in adolescence or early adulthood; the other half will retain some or all symptoms of ADHD as adults. With early identification and intervention, careful compliance with a treatment program, and a supportive and nurturing home and school environment, ADHD children can flourish socially and academically.



Barkley, Russell A. Taking Charge of ADHD. New York: Guilford Press, 2000.

Hallowell, Edward M. and John J. Ratey. Driven to Distraction. New York: Pantheon Books, 1995.

Wender, Paul H. ADHD: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adults. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.


Hallowell, Edward M. "What I've Learned from \A.D.D." Psychology Today 30, no. 3 (May-June 1997): 40–6.

Osman, Betty B. Learning Disabilities and ADHD: A Family Guide to Living and Learning Together. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997.

Swanson, J.M., et al. "Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Hyperkinetic Disorder." The Lancet 351 (Feb 7, 1997): 429–33.


National Institutes of Mental Health. "Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" [cited January, 10, 2003]. <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/adhd.cfm>.

Paula Anne Ford-Martin


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Conduct disorder

—A behavioral and emotional disorder of childhood and adolescence. Children with a conduct disorder act inappropriately, infringe on the rights of others, and violate societal norms.

Nervous tic

—A repetitive, involuntary action, such as the twitching of a muscle or repeated blinking.

Oppositional defiant disorder

—A disorder characterized by hostile, deliberately argumentative, and defiant behavior towards authority figures.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: A-series and B-series to Ballistic Missiles - Categories Of Ballistic MissileAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Causes And Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Alternative Treatment, Prognosis