Science Questions

Long term effects of an ADHD diagnosis?

Sat, 20th Apr 2013

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Paying attention to ADHD


Hannah asked:

And lastly, a question from me. So, are there any misconceptions or new educational policy that you'd like to mention relevant to ADHD?



Tom -   I think one area thatís becoming increasingly well understood at the moment is the psychological impact of an ADHD diagnosis for a child.  And so, increasingly, I meet children now that are in the receipt of a diagnosis and potentially, taking medication.  And I think as we start to see that affects taking cause over a longer term and the psychological impact of that diagnosis becomes clearer. 

So, research now indicates that children who have received an ADHD diagnosis may perceive themselves to be less able than their peers.  Or it may mean that they perceive their behaviour to be uncontrollable.  So, I can't go from this situation and thatís because I have ADHD.  As soon as children start to locate the source of their difficulties outside themselves and it means they donít think itís worth trying for example or they're less likely to take responsibility for that success and failure.  And clearly, in school, thatís a difficulty.

Hannah -   Thank you, Tom Hughes, Doctoral Trainee Educational Psychologist at Birmingham University.  If youíve got any burning questions about your brain and the nervous system, just email them to, you can tweet us @nakedneuroscience, or you can post on our Facebook page, and weíll do our best to answer them for you. 


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