Social and Bio-Genetic Influences of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on Child Intelligence

Topics: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Intelligence, Educational psychology Pages: 6 (1794 words) Published: December 18, 2001
Social and Bio-genetic Influences
of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
on Child Intelligence

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has undergone intense research in the past decade. Much of this is rooted in the fact that approximately 5% of children are affected with the disorder. Children with ADHD are identified as having increased behavioral difficulties because of excessive motor activities, poor self regulation and inattentiveness. It has been found that as many as 30% of children inflicted with ADHD have learning disabilities with academic underachievement becoming a failure or bother in the school system. Since these children do not meet the expectations of society and their learning environment they are usually met with anger, punishment, and rejection. In turn these children develop a low-self esteem and low levels of motivation.

The reason for ADHD is still a mystery to researchers. Within the field there are many things that point to biological (genetic) and social causes. The idea seeks to explore current research through investigating the social and bio-genetic influence of ADHD on child intelligence. Testing and treatments of those with ADHD will also be discussed.

Even though ADHD occurs in people of every intelligence, a majority of children affected experience academic problems. These children may have specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, or may have multiple learning problems. In a study comparing ADHD children with those unaffected, those with the disorder performed significantly worse than the others. Learning disabilities can be said to arise from attentional difficulties in the classroom setting. Many of these difficulties occur in tasks where listening and time is a factor. Reading disabilities have also been found as a result of ADHD. The attention span of someone with ADHD is usually shot in a controlled setting they can hardly function, without distractions which makes them sociably

Even though there is a higher prevalence of boys and those with low intelligence diagnosed, others with ADHD are impaired as well. Results have found that girls with this disorder face greater intellectual impairment, especially with picture vocabulary tasks, than boys or control girls. There is also significant findings that the level of intelligence affects ADHD children in different ways. More specifically those with both ADHD and normal to high intelligence are more prone to accidents, and have a smaller number of steady friends. Children who were identified with low intelligence and ADHD were found to have more behavioral and emotional problems in their adolescence. Long term studies have found that the outcome of these children was continued academic problems and school failures. However there is suggestion ADHD children show greater artistic ability when writing or drawing slowly and precisely.

Testing the intelligence of ADHD involves a number of measures. Psychoeducational testing is used to assess intellectual ability and to search for learning disabilities. A new intelligence test has been created by Naglieri called the Cognitive Assessment System to help diagnose and measure ADHD intelligence. This test is based on the premise that traditional tests don't measure processes such as planning and attention, which is essential in testing and detecting ADHD students. There is inconsistent data for the use of computerized tests of attention and vigilance for this purpose.

In many cases the effects of ADHD on children's intelligence is influenced by social factors. For instance studies show that symptoms become worse in situations which are unstructured, minimally supervised, boring, or require sustained attention or mental effort. There is an opposite deflection in IQ scores when related with increased social disability scores. The same study looked at teacher perceptions, which showed...
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