Børns perspektiver på ADHD-diagnosen

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Anne Marie Færk
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis investigates children´s perspectives on the diagnosis Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I examine diagnosed chidren´s perspectives on what ADHD means to them i their everyday lives. There has been conducted a considerable amount research in this field, often with a medical and neuropsychological focus, but very few studies focus on ADHD from the child´s perspective. In this thesis, I will take a sociological approach and view ADHD as a social and cultural construcion. Through qualitative interviews with different children diagnosed with ADHD, I will examine the children´s own perspectives towards the ADHD phenomenon.

The children’s accounts are analyzed by using James, Jenks and Prout´s understanding of children and childhood. I focus on the children´s own experience of ADHD especially when they talk about the importance of friendships and I use Erving Goffman´s theory on stigma to analyze their accounts of  the stigmatizing effect of ADHD. By adding the results of other researchers in the field, this thesis will show that ADHD-diagnosed children of similar age have different perspectives on the significance of the diagnosis. The children have different, as well as similar, accounts and the view on the ADHD-diagnosis as something which is not constant but rather as something which surfaces at different times and in different contexts, is something they have in common. The data also show that the significance of friendships, as well as their own perception of mastering relationships, is a key aspect for the children. Furthermore, the children describe the diagnosis as stigmatizing and display ambivalence towards the helpful effect of the diagnosis, because they experience that it can attract help in everyday life, as well as unwanted response from their surroundings.

In this thesis I will also discuss the possible impact of the qualitative aspects of the children’s accounts and how they can be used practically. It is recommended that diagnosticians to a higher degree collaborate with- and consider the perspectives of the children than is common practice currently.

Publication date30 Jun 2014
Number of pages96
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 201347220