In "Young Children with Attention Deficits", Steven Landau and Cecile McAninch (1993) explored the problem involving children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is the "psychiatric term used to describe a set of symptoms reflecting excessive inattention, overactivity, and impulsive responding" (Landau & McAninch, 1993, p. 49). Prior names applied to this condition include brain damage syndrome, minimal brain dysfunction, hyperkinetic reaction to childhood, and attention deficit disorder with and without hyperactivity. The condition is six-times more prevalent in males than in females. African Americans disproportionately represented among persons with ADHD (15.73 percent) compared with their representation in the general population (United States Public Health Service, 2001).
ADHD children frequently create disruptions in school classrooms to the detriment of the learning experience for themselves and others. Three factors can interact to allow ADHD children to participate in positive learning experiences along with their non-ADHD peers. These factors are (a) effective treatment, (b) teachers who are skilled in working with ADHD children, and (c) effective parenting. A research study proposed herein will investigate the effects of a psychosocial intervention on the behavior of African American children with ADHD in elementary and middle school classroom settings.
ADHD is the most frequent reason children receive health care in the United States. Physicians diagnose between three-percent and five-percent of American children with ADHD, and children do not outgrow ADHD in adolescence (Resnick, 2000).
A higher proportion of boys than girls have ADHD, with boys with ADHD outnumbering girls with ADHD four-to-one. The manifestations of ADHD vary by gender. Boys tend to be externalizing and aggressive. In contrast, girls tend to be internalizing, emotional, and less assertive (Resnick, 2000).