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Educational psychologists' perspectives on the medicalisation of childhood behaviour: A focus on Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Hill, VC; Turner, H; (2016) Educational psychologists' perspectives on the medicalisation of childhood behaviour: A focus on Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Educational & Child Psychology , 33 (2) pp. 12-29. Green open access

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Abstract

Aim: This study explores the views of Educational Psychologists (EPs) practising in the UK regarding the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). / Method: An online survey collected from 136 EPs, representing 70 local authorities across the UK. Findings: Responses highlighted how currently EPs are rarely engaged in the assessment of ADHD. However, the data indicated that EPs play an important role in increasing the awareness of contextual factors in children’s behaviour, and are well placed to support the development of individually tailored interventions. It was identified that in many local authorities, current diagnostic practices do not conform to government guidelines regarding both access to psychological interventions and the prescription of medication to pre¬school children. Furthermore, few children were involved in decision making about their treatment. Where Local Authorities have developed standardised pathways or protocols governing the diagnostic process, EPs are involved in the assessment process and children are more likely to access psychological interventions, and for contextual factors to be taken into account. / Limitations: Consistent with the research aims the study focuses exclusively on EP perspectives. As a survey it was not possible to probe for meaning or clarification of issues that emerged. There is a need for further research into successful examples of ADHD treatment pathways that take advantage of the unique contribution of EPs. / Conclusions: Priorities for future work include the need to develop a nationally agreed protocol for a multi-professional approach to assessment and treatment of ADHD. There is an urgent need for careful monitoring of prescription rates, particularly in pre-school children and across different ethnic and social groups. Furthermore, steps should be taken to address the lack of participation by children and young people in decisions about their treatment.

Type: Article
Title: Educational psychologists' perspectives on the medicalisation of childhood behaviour: A focus on Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://shop.bps.org.uk/publications/publication-by...
Language: English
Additional information: This is a pre-publication version of the following article: Hill, VC; Turner, H; (2016) Educational psychologists' perspectives on the medicalisation of childhood behaviour: A focus on Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Educational & Child Psychology, 33 (2) pp. 12-29.
Keywords: Medicalisation; ADHD; Educational Psychologist
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
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 - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503569
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