- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 3, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199790558
- ISBN-13: 978-0199790555
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.1 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication, Money, and Today's Push for Performance 1st Edition
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"A new book, The ADHD Explosion by Stephen Hinshaw and Richard Scheffler, looks at this extraordinary increase [in ADHD diagnoses]. What's the explanation? Some rise in environmental toxins? Worse parenting? Better detection? Drs. Hinshaw and Scheffler... present some striking evidence that the answer lies, at least partly, in changes in educational policy." -Wall Street Journal
"The ADHD Explosion, released this week by Oxford University Press, chronicles the steep increase in ADHD diagnoses in the US over the last two decades." -LA Times
"This powerful, fact-packed survey is complex, thought-provoking, and urgent." --Publishers Weekly
"This is a unique, highly informative, science-based, and hence incredibly useful book about ADHD and the numerous controversies surrounding it. No disorder in recent times has been so controversial, so terribly misrepresented and sensationalized in the media, or so polarizing among the general public as this one. The authors do a superb job cutting through the nonsense with facts to portray ADHD both sensibly and sensitively. While a very useful book for parents and educators, professionals, students, and journalists will also find this book to be invaluable for its clear representation of what is known about ADHD and for its even-handedness and thoroughness in explaining the source of the many public and professional controversies."-Russell A. Barkley, PhD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina
"If you think that ADHD is simply an invention of mental health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry, then The ADHD Explosion will change your mind. This book elucidates the true personal and social costs of the syndrome for children, their families, schools, and communities."-Jeffrey E. Harris, MD PhD, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"This is a wonderfully readable and very timely book, authored by two of the world's pre-eminent scientists. [...] They have produced the most thoughtful, scholarly, and simultaneously intuitively complete and 'commonsensical' exposition of 'what ADHD really is' to date. Despite the intricacies of the many lines of research that converge on this seemingly ubiquitous disorder, they have distilled these scientific complexities into a seamless, spell-binding story that accurately presents our current scientific knowledge about ADHD." -Peter S. Jensen, MD, President and CEO, The Reach Institute, Professor of Psychiatry and Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, The Mayo Clinic
"At a time when proposals about disability and health insurance policy have given intense focus to ADHD, it is important to have a clear sense of what the illness is, the consequences of carrying the disorder, the complex issues around the role that ADHD has taken in education and social interactions, and the opportunities for treatment of the condition. Anyone serious about tackling policy issues concerning ADHD should read this book." -Richard G. Frank, PhD, Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
"In their well-written and thoughtful book, Hinshaw and Scheffler provide a nuanced view of the ADHD Explosion. Provocative without being extreme, this book is thorough and sensitive, policy-relevant, and a major contribution to the literature."-Howard H. Goldman, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
"The authors provide a wide-ranging and extremely thoughtful assessment of the causes and consequences of ADHD. This book not only dispels many myths but also offers a tangible path forward for children, their parents, and governments." -Thomas Rice, PhD, Distinguished Professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
"In The ADHD Explosion, psychologist Stephen P. Hinshaw and health economist Richard M. Scheffler detail the evolution of ADHD from clinical issue to cultural phenomenon. The ADHD Explosion fills a much needed gap. It offers a systemic examination of a major health care and economic issue that is too often reduced to overly simplistic conclusions. Hinshaw and Scheffler provide an intelligent presentation of where we are and what we need to consider as we move forward." --Robert Furey, Colleen Furey, PsycCRITIQUES
"In this highly informative book, The ADHD Explosion psychologist Stephen Hinshaw, PhD, and health economist Richard Scheffler, PhD, address the societal impact, healthcare costs, and long-term outcomes for those affected by ADHD. This unique book is useful for parents, educators, mental health professionals, students, and adults." --Tara Ann Cartwright, American Medical Writers Association Journal
About the Author
Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Vice-Chair for Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He is also editor of Psychological Bulletin.
Richard M. Scheffler, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Health Economics and Public Policy in the School of Public Health and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
Top customer reviews
The book has four fundamental messages:
1) Although often ridiculed, ADHD respresents a genuine medical condition.
2) Only diligent and thorough assessment can distinguish ADHD from other mental health conditions, chaotic home environments, etc...
3) ADHD medications are effective at reducing the core symptons.
4) Rates of ADHD diagnosis and medical treatment vary dramatically by region.
Things get interesting with #4! This book offers provacative evidence that economic pressure and government policies, like No Children Let Behind, gave a powerful push to the popularity of the diagnosis. It's pretty sick to think that the desire to improve school performance has led to misled over-diagnosis of ADHD and subsequent medication to children with poor test scores.
This book gets five stars from me for thoroughly addressing the misinformation of ADHD and for proposing great advice to remedy the situation (althoguh that will not be an easy task!) I also approve of the way that they have marketed this book, which is something I cannot say for a rival book: ADHD Does Not Exist - which overly tempts readers with its shocking title. (RC)
(As for Dr. Hinshaw, I highly recommend his remarkably well done trilogy of books that address mental illness and stigma, in particular The Mark of Shame: Stigma of Mental Illness and an Agenda for Change )
In clear language, the book tells the actual story regarding ADHD, emphasizing its undoubted psycho-biological roots (and the value of medication treatment, particularly when combined with skills approaches). But it also acknowledges that the recent, skyrocketing rates of diagnosis are in part a function of quick-and-dirty "assessments" and, in some cases, educational policies that emphasize test scores to the exclusion of learning.
I have just started reading this excellent book, so I will return in a few days to write a full review. For now, I want to thank these authors, both esteemed experts in their fields, for taking the time to wade through all the data, the controversies, and many other issues with such cogency and clarity.
Too often, the public is hit by broadsides about ADHD that are more heat than light, more self-serving provocation than unbiased education. The truth is, ADHD is a valid diagnosis, and it is a miraculous thing indeed for people who have ADHD to finally be diagnosed and treated for it instead of languishing under every other possible "label" and often made worse by treatments for anxiety, depression, or substance abuse that ignore the foundational contribution of ADHD to these other manifestations.
At the same time, the clinical standards around diagnosing and treating ADHD are nothing short of atrocious, a trend I've watched for 15 years with increasing alarm that it would threaten to discredit the diagnosis entirely. (Currently, a new batch of generic medications to Concerta, a popular sustained-release stimulant, threatens to reverse progress because these generics are inferior and lead people who have never tried brand to conclude that the medication makes things worse instead of better. For more on this issue, do a web search for "generic Concerta.")
This book is extremely well-written and organized. Parents of children with ADHD, adults with ADHD, and their loved ones will find it a steadfast guide in separating established fact from sensationalized fiction. It can provide an anchor in the storm of blowback from skeptics and naysayers.
It should be required reading for journalists who endeavor to report accurately on this topic; all mental-health professionals, educators, and health economists; and anyone writing public policy in this and any related field. (If I thought the New York Times op-ed editors would actually read it, I'd buy and send a copy to them. As it is, they seem to be generating the web traffic they seek with hidebound, inflammatory opinions on ADHD. Emphasis on "opinions," not facts.)
Everyone in modern society has much to lose if we let ourselves be distracted by the nonsense about ADHD in the popular media and in an uninformed public's mind.
ADHD is a well-studied and well-established condition that, if left unaddressed, significantly threatens an individual's quality of life and even length of life. We should be as concerned about its under-diagnosis as much as its over-diagnosis. Either phenomenon causes harm.
Unlike some of the alarmist publications we often see on the topic, the authors make it clear that ADHD is a very real condition and that correct diagnosis and treatment is essential for the well-being of the patient. They focus their concerns not just on ADHD itself, but the push for expediency instead of accuracy in the diagnosis and treatment. Too often, children that would respond better to therapy over medication are pushed into prescriptions because that is what the insurance covers or because it is easier to manage for the parents. They discuss the issue of both over-diagnosis with some demographics (almost a third of boys age nine and older in the Southern United States are diagnosed with ADHD) and the overlooked under-diagnosis of other demographics.
The authors do not just focus on children, however. They look at the issue of adult ADHD and its impact. There is also wide-ranging discussion about the real effect of ADHD on the economy, both from a treatment standpoint and worker productivity. It is a wide-ranging look at the condition and its impact on society as a whole.
This book should be required reading for any parent with a child that has been given an ADHD diagnosis, as it provides a wealth of ammunition and information for parents who want to make sure they are making the right decisions, not just the most convenient, for their child's treatment.
Reviewer Note: I was given a comp copy of this book for review.