Medicating Children: ADHD and Pediatric Mental Health

Author: Rick Mayes


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  • ISBN: 9780674031630
  • Author: Rick Mayes
  • Publ Date: 2008-12-09
  • Edition:
  • Pages: 360
  • Status: ACT
  • ID - 6700

Table of Contents :

* Acknowledgments * Introduction * An Introduction to ADHD * A Survey of the Evolution of ADHD and Pediatric Stimulant Use, 1900--1980 * The Transformation of Mental Disorders in the 1980s: The DSM-III, Managed Care, and "Cosmetic Psychopharmacology" * ADHD and the Politics of Children's Disability Policy * The Backlash against ADHD and Stimulants * Current Questions about Stimulant Treatment for ADHD * Conclusion * Notes * Selected Bibliography * Index


Why and how did ADHD become the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder among children and adolescents, as well as one of the most controversial? Stimulant medication had been used to treat excessively hyperactive children since the 1950s. And the behaviors that today might lead to an ADHD diagnosis had been observed since the early 1930s as "organic drivenness," and then by various other names throughout the decades.Rick Mayes and his coauthors argue that a unique alignment of social and economic trends and incentives converged in the early 1990s with greater scientific knowledge to make ADHD the most prevalent pediatric mental disorder. New movements advocating for the rights of children and the disabled and a massive increase in Medicaid spending on psychotropic drugs all contributed to the dramatic spike in ADHD diagnoses and stimulant use."Medicating Children" is unique in that it integrates analyses of the clinical, political, historical, educational, social, economic, and legal aspects of ADHD and stimulant pharmacotherapy. Thus, it will be invaluable to educators, clinicians, parents, and policymakers, all of whom are trying to determine what is in the best interest of millions of children.


This book reminds us that a vast array of social and political factors will affect decisions regarding the medicating of children. Medications might be approved by the FDA, but many years of public debate will probably be required before the use of these medications is considered acceptable. -- Joseph J. Jankowski New England Journal of Medicine 20090730

Author Biography:

Rick Mayes is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Richmond. Catherine Bagwell is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond. Jennifer Erkulwater is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond.


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