Chosen peer review article: Timmi, Sammi ADHD is best understood as a cultural construct; The British Journal of Psychiatry (2004) http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/184/1/8.full
It is difficult to describe a condition as culture bound without a lot of criticism from the culture it is tied up in. Attention deficit disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD & ADHD) were unheard of before the 20th century (History). According to the article I chose “There is still some debate in the literature whether Attention-Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity (ADHD) is best conceptualized as a biological disorder or if it is best understood as a cultural construct.” (Rhode et al.) ADD/ADHD has varying biological, cultural, and individual dimensions. Its evaluation/treatment also varies in different cultures. I will discuss these things and more.
There is a biology to everything, even culture bound syndromes. Different nations and ethnicities may have very similar or even very different cultures but their similarities may present similar factors that create a certain illness/behavior. According to research, brain scans of people with ADD/ADHD have similarities that are different from those not diagnosed with the disease, but not everyone diagnosed is given brain scans (Malloff). The frontal lobes, the area responsible for executive functions such as “attention to tasks, focus concentration, make good decisions, plan ahead, and learn and remember what we have learned” is impaired (Maloff). Current treatment is generally amphetamines which stimulate the frontal lobe. Alternative therapies include: diet changes, behavioral therapy, counseling, family therapy, and biofeedback (History).
My chosen article states that “immaturity of children is a biological fact, but the ways in which this immaturity is understood and made meaningful is a fact of culture.” There are many personal and ecological factors that negatively influence the mental health of children such as the loss of extended family/family support, pressure on schools, academic pressure, a breakdown in the moral authority of adults, disciplinary confusion, hyperactive family life, and a competitive economic market that value certain behavioral norms. “Throw in the profit-dependent pharmaceutical industry and a high-status profession looking for new roles and we have the ideal cultural preconditions for the birth and propagation of the ADHD construct.” (Timmi)
Timmi, Sammi; ADHD is best understood as a cultural construct; The British Journal of Psychiatry (2004) http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/184/1/8.full
History of ADHD; https://www.hellolife.net/add-adhd/b/history-of-adhd/
Rhode et al.; Rohde, L. , Szobot, C., Guilherme P., Marcelo, S., Silvia, M., & Silzá T Attention-Deﬁcit/Hyperactivity Disorder in a Diverse Culture: Do Research and Clinical Findings Support the Notion of a Cultural Construct for the Disorder?; The Journal of Biological Psychiatry; Volume 57, Issue 11, 1 June 2005, Pages 1436-1441; http://www.sciencedirect.com.proxy2.cl.msu.edu/science?_ob=ArticleListURL&_method=list&_ArticleListID=2064121307&_sort=r&_st=13&view=c&_acct=C000051676&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=1111158&md5=3924626c7f44168c8054a42d99a24d42&searchtype=a
Neufeld & Foy; Neufeld, P. and Michael, F.; British Journal of educational studies; Historical Reflections on the Ascendancy of ADHD in North America, c. 1980-c. 2005 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8527.2006.00354.x/abstract
Maloff; Maloff, Jared; the Biology of ADD; http://www.iser.com/resources/ADD-biology.html