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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and musical behaviour: The significance of context

Wilde, Eva Margaret; Welch, Graham Frederick; (2022) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and musical behaviour: The significance of context. Psychology of Music 10.1177/03057356221081163. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Recent estimates indicate that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is prevalent in about 2.5% of adults and 5.9% of young people. Negative impacts of ADHD are often reported in academic performance, emotional and cognitive functioning, and peer relationships, but little is known about ADHD and music. Using a detailed case study approach, structured observations in contrasting settings over a period of several school terms were made of one Primary and one Secondary school-aged boy, each with a formal assessment of ADHD. Analyses of video-based observations every 30 s ( n = 5,961 in total) were related to (1) the particular core ADHD symptoms attributed to inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, together with their observed severity; and (2) tutors’ and pupils’ actions during their focus music sessions. These quantitative data enriched the qualitative analyses. The research findings indicate that, notwithstanding their ADHD-related symptoms, the affected individuals could engage successfully in music and acquire musical skills. ADHD was not a static condition, but variable according to pedagogical and musical context. Habitual ADHD symptoms were either reduced or entirely absent when participants were engaged in playing and performing music. Analyses suggest that an effective, context-sensitive and inclusive pedagogy can integrate pupils into successful individual and collective music making.

Type: Article
Title: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and musical behaviour: The significance of context
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/03057356221081163
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/03057356221081163
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, music education, context, special educational needs
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10145498
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