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The theoretical perspective plays a significant role in the understanding of logic, methods, and components of any research. It forms the philosophical approach to a methodology, and, as any research is political due to the individual perception of the world, the choice of a paradigmatic stance is highly subjective. This theoretical perspectives paper identifies concept theories within the study of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and describes constructionism, a paradigmatic stance that guides the researches.
Concept Theories of ADHD
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a predominantly children’s biopsychosocial dysfunction that is characterized by inattentive, impulsive, and overactive behavioral problems. Children with ADHD have difficulties with focusing on details, organizing tasks, and sustaining attention during various activities (Barkley, 2003). They may have problems with discipline, as they are not able to stay in one place and be occupied with one task for a long period of time. Children with ADHD frequently cannot wait their turn or be patient to listen to a question or task description until the end (Barkey, 2003). The symptoms and nature of ADHD have been investigating by scientists for decades.
Based on scientific observations, there are several concept theories that describe the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder nature and explain the children’s behavior. The first theory focuses on the psychological and environmental explanations of ADHD that are viewed as conduct problems (Mahone & Denckla, 2017). According to this theory, the treatment of ADHD implicates the correction of the child’s psychological state. Another approach to the nature of ADHD is a neuropsychological, or biopsychosocial, the concept that explains ADHD’s symptoms by the organism’s malfunctions.
This concept includes several theories: executive functions, cognitive-energetic models, and delay aversion (Mahone & Denckla, 2017). Regardless of their peculiarities, all theories explain ADHD as behavioral inhibition, the disruption of executive functions, and a lack of control caused by the dysfunction of brain systems (Mahone & Denckla, 2017). A neuropsychological concept is currently predominant, however, the psychological approach is still widespread in cultures with particular ethic norms.
Concept theories concerning the nature of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder influence treatment, the approach to the education of children with ADHD, and the social perception of this disease. According to the contemporary approach, ADHD is prevalently identified as a neuropsychological problem that is caused by brain dysfunctions and in need of qualified medicated assistance. However, it is highly essential to differentiate ADHD and age-related behavioral disorders that substantially decline with age and may potentially be corrected with psychological therapy (Barkey, 2003).
The modern diagnostics of ADHD include the analysis on several levels, and it takes into consideration neurological, neuropsychological, genetic, social, familial, and behavioral factors (Maag & Reid, 1994). Educational systems should invariably consider the peculiarities of children with ADHD to provide a special approach to their tuition.
The paradigmatic stance that characterizes qualitative research and underlies the study of ADHD is the view of constructionism. This stance is chosen as in the indicated field of study there are various existing theories concerning the nature of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The existence of several approaches to the same phenomenon and their construction on the basis of human activities are distinctive for constructionism.
The constructionist view implicates that all meaningful reality depends on human practices. All knowledge is constructed “in and out of interaction between human beings and their world,” it is transmitted within a social context (Crotty, 1998, p. 53). According to this stance, meaning does not belong to the object waiting to be discovered, however, it is constructed. Constructionism states that people construct the meanings of objects when they interpret reality, and this interpretation is inextricably connected with consciousness (Crotty, 1998). Constructionists claim that meanings are neither purely objective nor subjective, they are constructed in regard to the existing world and its objects that should be taken seriously.
As human beings make sense of reality while interacting with it, they obviously interpret all objects in different ways. The world perception will be contingent upon human culture, social background, or family upbringing. People are born in an “already interpreted world” that is both social and natural (Crotty, 1998, p. 69). Social constructionism focuses on a “system of significant symbols” established by human cultures that determinates the way a person will view the world (Crotty, 1998, p. 66). According to the social approach, all meaningful reality is invariably socially constructed.
Theoretical perspectives and paradigmatic stances influence any person’s perception and the understanding of logic, methods, and components of any research. The study of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder’s nature distinguishes two main approaches to this phenomenon. The first theory regards ADHD as a psychological disorder that may be corrected by behavioral therapy, while the second, dominant, approach relates ADHD to a neuropsychological disease caused by physical, brain anomalies that need an appropriate medicated treatment.
The paradigmatic stance for this study that characterizes qualitative research is constructionism. It regards reality as existing objects that should be taken into consideration, however, the meanings of these objects should be constructed by human beings through the lenses of their culture, family, social background, and interpersonal communication. The interpretation is socially contingent and inevitably connected with consciousness.
Barkley, R. A. (2003). Issues in the diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children. Brain and Development, 25(2), 77-83. Web.
Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research. Meaning and perspective in the research process. London, England: SAGE Publications.
Maag, J. W., & Reid, R. (1994). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A functional approach to assessment and treatment. Behavioral Disorders, 20(1), 5-23.
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Mahone, E. M., & Denckla, M. B. (2017). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A historical neuropsychological perspective. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 23(9-10), 916-929. Web.