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«by Ellen Marie Strickland A Research Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Science in Education Degree With a ...»

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Finally, previously published literature about the effects of ADHD on students social skill development is addressed. Many professional journal articles are included in this research and strongly suggest that ADHD is linked to significant deficits in the social skill development of students who are diagnosed with the disorder. Because of the nature of the symptoms associated with ADHD (impulsivity, inattention, inability to control actions), children with ADHD are at a higher risk to develop poor peer relationships than children who do not have ADHD.

Critical Analysis and Recommendations A review of the relevant literature concerning ADHD, social skills, and the effects ADHD can have on the social skill development in children was explored. Although there is a lot of research regarding ADHD, its causes, and interventions, it continues to be a controversial topic, especially for schools and parents. The most controversial topic surrounding ADHD is the medication that is commonly prescribed to children who have been identified as having ADHD. This controversy is met with the fact that ninety percent of students who take medication to lessen the symptoms of ADHD benefit from it (Rosenhan & Seligman, 1995). It is also met with the fact that there is not a lot of knowledge about the medication’s long-term effects, possible side-effects, and whether

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need to have a medical diagnosis of ADHD in order to receive medication to treat the disorder. Parents of students with ADHD or ADHD type tendencies should seek a doctor in the medical field that is well respected and has experience working directly with children who have ADHD.

Another controversial issue surrounding ADHD is the validity and reliability surrounding the assessment techniques used to identify students with ADHD. These controversial issues also pertain to social skill assessments and identification techniques.

Techniques such as interviews, rating scales, and direct observation are subjective and can result in observer or rater bias. Interviews can also be unreliable, so it is important that interviewers follow a structured format. Also, the person conducting the assessment should be properly trained to conduct assessments regarding ADHD in order for a correct and appropriate assessment or diagnosis to take place.

Continued research surrounding ADHD and its effects on social skills is an important topic in our schools today. Because of the risk to children who have ADHD and how this disorder manifests itself in a child’s social environment, it is important to be aware of the detrimental social deficits that these children may suffer. Through continued education, identification, and intervention regarding social skill training in students with ADHD, as educators we can make school a more positive experience for

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Abate, F.R. (1997). The Oxford pocket dictionary and thesaurus. New York:

Oxford University Press.

American Psychological Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Barlow, D.H., & Durand, V.M. (1999). Abnormal psychology (2nd ed.). Pacific Grove,

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Berger, K.S., & Thompson, R.A. (1995). The developing person through childhood and adolescence (4th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

U.S. Department of Education. (1996). Eighteenth annual report to congress on the

implementation of the individuals with disabilities act. Washington, DC:

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Dumas, M.C. (1998). The risk of social interaction problems among adolescents with ADHD. Education and Treatment of Children, 21, 447-461.

Elksnin, L.K., & Elksnin, N. (1998). Teaching social skills to students with learning and Behavior problems. Intervention in School and Clinic, 33(3), 131-140.

Evans, S.W., Axelrod, J.L., & Sapia, J.K. (2000). Effective school-based mental health intervention: Advancing the social skills training paradigm. Journal of School

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Hazel, J.S., Schumaker, J.B., Sherman, J.A., Sheldon, J. (1995). ASSET: A social skill program for adolescents (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Research Press.

Heatherington, E.M., & Parke, R.D. (1999). Child Psychology: A contemporary viewpoint (5th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Hepler, J. (1994). Mainstreaming children with learning disabilities: Have we improved their social environment? Social Work in Education, 16(3), 143-154.

House, A. (1999). DSM-IV diagnosis in the schools. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Kauffman, J. (2000). Characteristics of emotional and behavioral disorders of children and youth (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kronenberger, W.G., & Meyer, R.G. (1996). The child clinician’s handbook. Needham

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Landau, S., & Moore, L.A. (1991). Social skill deficits in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. School Psychology Review, 20(2), 235-252.

Rosenhan, D.L., & Seligman, M.E.P. (1995). Abnormal psychology (3rd. ed.).

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University of Cincinnati. (2001). Department of student services psychological services center. March 26, 2001. http://www.psc.uc.edu/sh/SH_Social_Skills.htm.

Wheeler, J., & Carlson, C.L. (1994). The social functioning of children with ADD with hyperactivity and ADD without hyperactivity: A comparison of their peer relations and social deficits. Journal of emotional and behavioral disorders, 2(1),

2-13.

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