The ADHD explosion: A new book explores factors that have fueled it
By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
“The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money and Today’s Push for Performance,” released this week by Oxford University Press, chronicles the steep increase in ADHD diagnoses in the United States over the last two decades. The new book offers provocative evidence that economic pressures and government policies — not just concern for children’s welfare — are behind the increase in diagnoses of the psychiatric disorder marked by hyperactivity, disorganization, impulsiveness, inattention and poor academic performance beginning in childhood.
The authors of the new book–psychology professor Stephen P. Hinshaw and health economist Richard M. Scheffler, both of UC Berkeley, are hardly ADHD deniers: They acknowledge ADHD to be a disorder that can hobble the lives of those who have it, and they cite abundant evidence that the prescription stimulant medication used to tame ADHD’s symptoms can bring about remarkable improvement in those with the disorder. Their research is underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a respected public health philanthropy.
Click here to read Hinshaw and Scheffler’s Q&A with L.A. Times reporter Melissa Healy.