A systematic review and synthesis of qualitative research: the influence of school context on symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Ruth Gwernan-Jones*, Darren A. Moore, Paul Cooper, Abigail Emma Russell, Michelle Richardson, Morwenna Rogers, Jo Thompson-Coon, Ken Stein, Tamsin J. Ford, Ruth Garside

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
278 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This systematic review and synthesis of qualitative research explored contextual factors relevant to non-pharmacological interventions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in schools. We conducted meta-ethnography to synthesise 34 studies, using theories of stigma to further develop the synthesis. Studies suggested that the classroom context requiring pupils to sit still, be quiet and concentrate could trigger symptoms of ADHD, and that symptoms could then be exacerbated through informal/formal labelling and stigma, damaged self-perceptions and resulting poor relationships with staff and pupils. Influences of the school context on symptoms of ADHD were often invisible to teachers and pupils, with most attributions made to the individual pupil and/or the pupil’s family. We theorise that this ‘invisibility’ is at least partly an artefact of stigma, and that the potential for stigma for ADHD to seem ‘natural and right’ in the context of schools needs to be taken into account when planning any intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-100
Number of pages18
JournalEmotional and Behavioural Difficulties
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • attributions
  • meta-ethnography
  • qualitative research
  • school stigma

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