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Relative Age Effect in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder at Various Stages of the Medicalization Process

Brault Marie-Christine, Degroote Emma, Jean Mireille et Van Houtte Mieke. (2022). Relative Age Effect in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder at Various Stages of the Medicalization Process. Children, 9, (6), p. 1-14.

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URL officielle: https://doi.org/10.3390/children9060889

Résumé

Diagnosis and pharmacological treatment of ADHD are more common among the youngest children in a classroom, born in the months immediately preceding the school entry cutoff date. The mechanisms behind this phenomenon, called the relative age effect (RAE), are not yet well understood. Nearly all hypotheses involve the school system, various teachers’ actions, and concern children’s immaturity. However, most previous studies have been based on reports of health professionals’ diagnoses and prescriptions found in official databases rather than on reports of teachers’ behavior identification or suspicion of ADHD, despite their being at the first stages of the medicalization process. Our study overcomes this limitation by using reports of parents’ and teachers’ behavior identification or suspicion of ADHD within a three-level multilevel survey design, comprising 1294 children, 130 teachers, and 17 elementary public schools. The goal of our study was to investigate whether RAE stems (1) from adults’ judgement of the child’s expression of immaturity or (2) from the consequences associated with the child’s double burden of being immature and exhibiting ADHD behaviors. Our multilevel analyses put forward the first hypothesis only, supporting the medicalization of immaturity. RAE in ADHD seems mostly initiated by teachers’ pre-diagnostic actions toward younger children.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Volume:9
Numéro:6
Pages:p. 1-14
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Date:2022
Sujets:Sciences sociales et humaines
Sciences de la santé
Sciences de la santé > Sciences médicales
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences humaines
Unités de recherche > Chaire UQAC–Cégep de Jonquière sur la vie et la santé des jeunes (VISAJ)
Mots-clés:Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), children, medicalization, relative age effect, teachers, parents
Déposé le:20 juin 2022 18:41
Dernière modification:20 juin 2022 18:41
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