Presenting ADHD through a theory of inhibition and self-regulation: A call for identification and management skills

Year: 2002

Author: Parker, Jennifer

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Professor Russell A. Barkley's hybrid model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (AD/HD) may finally offer explicit scientific validation for a neurobiological basis for AD/HD. This paper presents educators with the most recent development in research into this syndrome through the adoption of this current theoretic position, which characterizes AD/HD as a state of underdevelopment in the inhibition and self-regulation of executive functions, or higher cognitive abilities. Impairment in these higher thinking abilities has been described as the most crippling and often the most intractable of disorders, as executive functions deal with how or whether a person goes about doing something, not in terms of what they can do or how much they know. In linking AD/HD to development anomalies in executive functioning, a heightened understanding may be gained of this disorder. Examples of executive dysfunction observed in AD/HD participants during a 2001-2003 doctorate research project at the University of Southern Queensland will be offered to illuminate specific complications that may surface in today's classrooms. Links will be drawn between Barkley's theory and significant features of this research to substantiate the identification and management strategies that are recommended.