2014 Psychology
SemanticScholar ID: 141584394 MAG: 1509797376

Saudi Arabian Teachers’ Knowledge and Beliefs about ADHD.

Publication Summary

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is considered one of the most frequently diagnosed psychiatric childhood disorders. It affects 3–7% of school-aged children, interfering with their academic performance and social interactions. This study explored the knowledge and beliefs of teachers in Saudi Arabia about children with ADHD. The Knowledge about Attention Deficit Disorder Questionnaire (KADD-Q) was administered to a sample of teachers, followed by interviews with a subset of the total respondents. The results indicated that the teachers knew more about the characteristics of ADHD than they knew about its related causes and treatment. Overall, the findings indicated that these teachers had some knowledge about general characteristics of ADHD, but they had little understanding of causes and possible interventions. These results suggest an important need for more formal teacher training regarding all aspects of ADHD in school-age children. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be described as a neurobiological, developmental, or neurodevelopmental disorder, which manifests as developmentally unsuitable inattentiveness and/or impulsivity and hyperactivity (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). It is a commonly diagnosed disorder in children with prevalence rates of between 3% and 7% (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Children with ADHD experience many challenges in daily life, from learning disabilities to lower perceptions of self-worth, frustration, and depression; thus, they need support in several areas throughout their lives (Goldstein, Goldstein, Braswell, & Sheridan, 1998). ADHD symptoms have the potential to lead to considerable problems for the children with ADHD, their families, and the people they interact with at school (Barkley, 2006). The core symptoms of ADHD have considerable negative effects on child development in social, emotional, and cognitive skills (National Institute for Clinical Excellence, 2003), and pose considerable financial strain for healthcare and education systems (Barkley, 2006). Teachers are likely to be the first to detect any signs of ADHD within the classrooms, and as such, are expected to make the necessary referrals if they suspect that a student might have ADHD (Snider, Busch, & Arrowood, 2003). Vereb and DiPerna (2004) believe that teachers’ knowledge of ADHD and their practical experiences with students with ADHD are related. This study is an initial attempt to investigate the knowledge and beliefs of teachers in Saudi Arabia about ADHD. There is no current research in Saudi Arabia on school-age children with ADHD, especially in terms of school-teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about the condition. Although there are several studies (e.g., Faraone, Sergeant, Gillberg & Biederman, 2003; Polanczyk, Horta, Biederman & Rohde, 2007) that examine cultural differences concerning ADHD, little is known about how knowledge and beliefs are affected by the way the disorder is conceptualized due to cultural factors (Ghanizadeh, Bahredar, & Moeini, 2006). By providing a cultural dimension, the study adds to the broader international research based on the knowledge and beliefs of parents and teachers of children with ADHD. Teachers’ Knowledge and Beliefs about ADHD A review of current research on ADHD regarding the knowledge of teachers indicates that there are The Journal of the International Association of Special Education, Spring 2014, Vol. 15, No. 1

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Paula Clarke

Dr. Paula Clarke

University of Leeds - Associate Professor in Psychological Approaches to Childhood and Inclusive Education

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