Does school, compared to home, provide a unique adaptive context for children's ADHD-associated behaviors? A cross-cultural test

Alexandra A. Brewis, Mary C. Meyer, Karen L. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adaptive explanations of the high frequency of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in contemporary settings propose that the disorder represents otherwise normal behavioral strategies that become maladaptive in such evolutionarily novel environments as the formal school classroom. The authors use cross-cultural testing to assess whether classrooms are a uniquely maladaptive context for these behaviors when compared to home. The sample was 1,209 Colombian and U.S. children ages 6-11 years. Using psychometric scales, parents reported children's characteristic behavior at home, and teachers reported it for school. Statistical models describe relationships between children's normal hyperactive and inattentive behavior in the two locations, and some adaptive correlates. Inattention is associated with poorer social functioning in both. Hyper-activity appears to be at least as problematic at home as at school. Counter to the suggestions of some adaptive models of ADHD, school is not an especially or uniquely maladaptive context for hyperactive and inattentive behaviors when compared to home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-320
Number of pages18
JournalCross-Cultural Research
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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