Bad parenting, poor discipline, and other myths about the causes of ADHD

Attitudes regarding what causes ADHD were amongst the items reviewed in a recent survey conducted by Parent’s Magazine and New York’s Child Mind Institute – a treatment centre for children with mental health – which looked at the perspectives of approximately 1000 parents regarding ADHD and mental health. The Globe and Mail reported on this survey over the weekend, and the results revealed some surprising information about the continued shroud of misunderstanding and stigma surrounding this disorder. Some excerpts:

  • 72% thought most children were being misdiagnosed and put on medication too quickly by their doctors
  • 45% felt children were being mislabelled as “mentally ill or having learning disorders” because their teachers “can’t handle them”
  • 32% dismissed ADHD as a result of “insufficient or absent parenting”
  • 13% thought ADHD should be treated as a “behavioural issue that can be corrected with discipline”

This survey comes at a time when mental health is at the forefront of the national agenda and consciousness – the Mental Health Commission of Canada is set to release its national blueprint to combat mental illness today (if they haven’t already), and there have been countless initiatives this year alone to increase our awareness of mental health issues. Click here to access the whole article

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