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Qualitative Approach to ADHD Symptoms Interpretation: Implications for Pedagogical Practice

Ksenija Romstein ; Učiteljski fakultet, Sveučilište J. J. Strossmayera u Osijeku, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 222 Kb

str. 101-112

preuzimanja: 1.752



ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is currently diagnosed by DSMIV
and ISC-10 diagnostic criteria. While DSM-IV is used typically in the US, and ICD-10 is
typical of Europe, the issue of cultural and individual interpretation of symptoms emerges.
Behavior is socially determined, which in terms of ADHD development means that it doesn’t
develop “in vacuum” but in interaction with the immediate environment. This is supported by
Vygotsky’s and Bronfenbrenner’s developmental theories. Nevertheless, the adult
perspective, according to which children’s development is standardized and evaluation
criteria for their behaviour established, is still dominant. Therefore, it is important to analyze
current diagnostic criteria of ADHD in relation to normative social orientation in children’s
development and the image of a child in general. Childhood research studies (especially from
the point of view of sociology and pedagogy) strongly imply the normative social perspective
about childhood and children (their development), which can result in ADHD misdiagnosis.
Insight into relevant pedagogical literature and pedagogical practice has shown that certain
behaviour, characterized as hyperactivity symptoms, can be interpreted in various ways – as a
reflection of the situational context, family lifestyle, developmental phase, etc. Since signs of
ADHD are usually manifested and diagnosis established during early school years, and since
teachers are directly involved in the ADHD diagnosis, a survey on school children’s typical
behaviour has been conducted. The survey included forty-two 5th year students of Teacher
Education. Results have shown that according to students - future teachers – typical
behaviour involves intensive motor activity, short attention span and inability to complete
activities, all of which are the symptoms of ADHD as described by DSM-IV and ICD-10
diagnostic criteria. These results point to the importance of interdisciplinary and qualitative
approach to interpretation of ADHD symptoms as a prerequisite for developmentally
appropriate practice in early school years.

Ključne riječi

ADHD: qualitative approach, symptoms, pedagogical practice, developmental appropriation

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