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Keywords:

  • ADD/ADHD;
  • school children;
  • gender;
  • symptomatology;
  • attention

Background

This study investigates the ability of primary school teachers to recognise Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the impact of subtype and child gender on recognition and proposed management.

Method

Primary school teachers read one of four types of vignette describing the behaviour of a 9-year-old child: either a boy or a girl with inattentive or combined subtype of ADHD. Teachers were asked about their conceptualisation of the child's difficulties and their thoughts about need for specialist referral and other interventions.

Results

Of 496 teachers, 99% identified the presence of a problem. Subtype (combined) of ADHD influenced teachers’ recognition of ADHD and agreement that medication might be helpful. Only 13% of teachers thought that medication might be helpful.

Conclusions

Results suggest a need for better teacher awareness about inattentive subtype of ADHD.