Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavior problem that is characterized by hyperactivity, inattention, restlessness, and impulsivity and, until recently, was diagnosed primarily in children. It was first defined as Hyperkinetic Disorder of Childhood in 1957 and was commonly known as hyperactivity or hyperactive syndrome until it was renamed ADHD in 1987. The renaming also represented a shift in focus from hyperactive behavior to the inattention as a major characteristic of the disorder. In the United States the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 7 percent of school-age (6–10) children have ADHD, with a ratio of 3 to 1 boys to girls. White children tend to have higher rates of ADHD diagnosis than minority children. In recent years the definition of ADHD has broadened. Now, in addition to school-age children, ADHD is diagnosed in preschool children, adolescents, and adults, which contributes to the rising prevalence. The most ...