AD/HD: An Overview Of Current Perspectives

Course materials are available as articles, and audio with transcripts.

This intermediate-level course will give an overview of the current perspectives on Attention Deficit- Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). At this time, there is a significant body of research that supports a genetic link for ADHD and positive response to both behavioral and pharmacological interventions. There is also a body of research that argues that ADHD, as a diagnosis, is nothing more than a fad that supports poor behavior in those with the diagnosis. This course is designed to engage the reader in careful consideration of the materials in order to formulate his or her own opinion with regards to this disorder.

The course is comprised of seven articles and two audiotaped interviews (transcripts provided). The first set of documents discusses the current theories of AD/HD, its neurobiological basis, as well as the most recent diagnostic criteria. The second set of documents summarizes the most common treatments for those with AD/HD. The third addresses the overuse of the diagnosis. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.


  • Catala-Lopez F, Hutton B, Nuñez-Bel tran A, Page MJ, Ridao M, Macıas Saint-Gerons D, et al. (2017). The pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: A systematic review with network meta-analyses of randomised trials. PLoS ONE, 12 (7), e0180355.
  • Katzman, M. A., Bilkey, T. S., Chokka, P. R., Fallu, A., & Klassen, L. J. (2017). Adult ADHD and comorbid disorders: Clinical implications of a dimensional approach. BMC psychiatry, 17 (1), 302.
  • Merten, E. C., Cwik, J. C., Margraf, J., & Schneider, S. (2017). Overdiagnosis of mental disorders in children and adolescents (in developed countries). Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 11 (1), 5.

Educational Objectives

  • Review criteria for the diagnosis of AD/HD.
  • Differentiate between the various presentations of AD/HD.
  • Review research on the possible etiology of AD/HD.
  • Specify a variety of treatments and interventions for AD/HD.
  • Note reasons why AD/HD may be overdiagnosed.
  • List impacts of culture, values and parenting styles on the management of AD/HD in children.


  • Definitions and Descriptions of AD/HD
    • AD/HD with hyperactivity, AD/HD with inattention
    • Revisions to the Diagnosis per the DSM-5
  • AD/HD in Adulthood
  • Possible Etiologies of AD/HD
  • Assessment and Diagnosis of AD/HD
  • Treatments and Interventions for AD/HD
  • Concerns and Questions about AD/HD as a Diagnosis
  • Impacts of Culture, Location, Physician and Parenting Values and Bias on the Management of AD/HD and its Symptoms
  • Myths associated with the Diagnosis
  • Overdiagnosis and Psychostimulant Treatment of AD/HD