Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD for short, is a mental health issue. The disorder can negatively impact the lives of affected individuals. Thereby, active research is currently conducted in the scientific community to investigate ADHD effects and causation and seek effective treatment methods. As with any mental health problem with onset in childhood, ADHD has significant consequences for later life. This paper shows how ADHD can affect children and adults and what changes it may bring into their lives.
ADHD: general information
It is vital to discuss some basics on ADHD before addressing its effects on children and adults. ADHD is a complex mental illness, meaning that understanding the disorder and its symptoms is essential to trace its effects. This section of the paper contains general information on ADHD, including its symptoms and some statistics on ADHD transfer from childhood to adulthood.
What is ADHD?
The primary characteristics of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. These symptoms may occur separately or in a combination; either way, they impair daily functions and are inconsistent with developmental level. It can be challenging for affected individuals to concentrate, and they can be impatient and excessively active. Therefore, people with ADHD can experience severe problems with education and work since it is difficult for them to analyze much information without losing attention. They also cannot remain inactive or still for a long time, which means they always have to do something physically active. Thereby, individuals affected by ADHD may experience problems with sitting in class or a job that does not implement moving or physical activity.
According to recent research, ADHD is commonly diagnosed in childhood, and symptoms that may cause functional impairment persist into adulthood in 70% of childhood cases. Moreover, in 30% of cases, complete syndrome continues without diminution. Other people experience partial remission, but they retain some symptoms; therefore, they are still considered affected by ADHD.
Effects on children
As mentioned earlier, ADHD is a mental health disorder commonly diagnosed in childhood. Children are less prepared to fight a mental illness, meaning that ADHD can more crucially influence the health and lives of affected individuals if its onset has occurred in childhood. Children with ADHD likely do not fully comprehend their disorder and are less informed on how to manage it. Therefore, ADHD outcomes in childhood can be critical if an affected child has their ADHD undiagnosed or untreated. This section of the paper addresses the effects of ADHD on children and their educational achievement.
How ADHD affects children’s education
ADHD makes children experience significant problems with education since it is a process that requires much attention, which individuals affected by the disorder under discussion lack. Children with ADHD have lower average grades in school compared to children who are not affected. ADHD makes children lose concentration and attention during classes, and they cannot fully assimilate the material from the lessons.
Therefore, they show worse results on academic tests, which directly affects their grades and general educational knowledge. Hyperactivity and the inability to remain still lead to a higher absenteeism rate since children miss the classes because they cannot be seated for a long time. All the factors mentioned above lead to lower rates of completion of school and college. Children with ADHD may finish their education without proper knowledge level and have insufficient skills to obtain a job they want.
A child with ADHD in a family
A child with any mental health condition, including ADHD, may cause significant problems for the family. ADHD-related issues lead to family instability, directly increasing risks of parental union dissolution and entering an out-of-home placement. Recent research has well-established the association between children’s lower educational achievement and family instability. It is often difficult for parents to raise a child affected by ADHD, which leads to internal problems in the family that can end dramatically. Moreover, ADHD may negatively affect the learning environment at home because of the issues mentioned previously. Children with ADHD have problems at school because of their disorder, and their general educational achievement is further exacerbated because they cannot correctly study at home.
Effects on adults
As mentioned earlier, most children with ADHD are likely to remain affected in adulthood, and the major negative impact of ADHD is associated with lower educational achievement. That leads to severe problems in adulthood since lack of education and insufficient skills might be decisive factors when engaging in substantive life and finding a job. Furthermore, ADHD can negatively affect other aspects of adults’ lives, including family, friends, and finances. This section of the presentation addresses the issues that adults with ADHD might confront.
ADHD affects on adults’ lives
The disorder under discussion can have a significant impact on adults’ lives, starting with work distress. The symptoms of ADHD, namely hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, make people less able to perform their work tasks. They also may have problems with communication in the collective since their social behavior is negatively affected by ADHD. Moreover, people with ADHD often have instability in their families and issues at home.
Their complicated behavior makes them experience various issues when communicating with their relatives. The same concerns friendship because it is not easy to find friends who can be patient and manage the problems of ADHD. Even if there are such friends, an individual with ADHD is likely to be a complex person, and it is not easy for them to communicate with other people. In addition, researchers report that ADHD is associated with high expenses, primarily correlated with treatment. ADHD creates additional costs throughout the life of an affected individual, directly affecting their budget.
ADHD effects from the biological viewpoint
According to the researchers, children with ADHD have a delay in the maturation of the brain. The specific part of the brain that has delayed growth is the pre-frontal cortex. This part is associated with the regulation of executive brain functions. First of all, ADHD affects complex cognition, which means all mental processes used for deriving new information are slowed. That is why children with ADHD often have problems with their educational achievement, as mentioned before. Moreover, the decision-making process is affected, making individuals affected by ADHD have issues when they have to solve a problem or make a significant choice. Finally, the pre-frontal cortex is associated with the moderation of social behavior, meaning that ADHD slows social adaptation processes. It is more challenging for affected individuals to adjust to various social norms and behave appropriately in society.
Summing up, ADHD is a mental health disorder that can negatively impact lives of children and adults. The primary symptoms of the disorder are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. It is commonly diagnosed in childhood, persisting to adulthood in most cases. First of all, ADHD negatively affects children’s educational achievement, resulting in lower average grades and worse academic results. Children with ADHD show lower rates of school and college completion and often cause instability in their families. Then, educational issues in childhood lead to work problems in adulthood since people are not always able to apply for a job they want because of insufficient skills and knowledge.
Moreover, adults with ADHD have socializing problems, which means it is challenging for them to communicate with colleagues, friends, and family members and feel comfortable in society. Finally, ADHD is associated with severe monetary expenses, primarily for treatment, and those expenses can significantly decrease general budget of an affected person. ADHD is a crucial issue that can significantly damage the lives of affected individuals, especially if undiagnosed or left untreated.
- Cortese, S. (2020). Pharmacologic treatment of attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 383(11), 1050-1056.
- Keilow, M., Holm, A., & Fallesen, P. (2018). Medical treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and children’s academic performance. PloS one, 13(11), 1-17.
- Sudre, G., Szekely, E., Sharp, W., Kasparek, S., & Shaw, P. (2017). Multimodal mapping of the brain’s functional connectivity and the adult outcome of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(44), 11787-11792.