A linguistic analysis of in-office dialogue among psychiatrists, parents, and child and adolescent patients with adhd

Robert L. Findling, Daniel F. Connor, Timothy Wigal, Corey Eagan, Meaghan Nelson Onofrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The aim was to evaluate in-office discussions of ADHD and psychiatric comorbidities. Method: Naturally occurring interactions among 11 psychiatrists, 32 patients and their parents were recorded, with a focus on ĝ€complicatedĝ€ patients (i.e., having or suspected to have ĝÉ¥ 1 psychiatric comorbidities and/or learning disabilities in addition to ADHD). Participants were interviewed separately post visit. Transcripts were analyzed using validated sociolinguistic methodologies. Results: Some 62% of patients were male, with an average age of 12.5 years, and 79% had a family history of ADHD. Visits were psychiatrist-driven, focusing on medication management and school performance, leaving management of comorbidities largely unaddressed. Post visit, 78% of parents and psychiatrists disagreed on patients' ĝ€most concerning behavior.ĝ€ Parents most often reported concern about aggression and oppositionality. Psychiatrists and parents emphasized different aspects of patients' personality, using deficit- and strength-based models, respectively. Conclusion: Psychiatrists and parents interpreted the relationship between ADHD and comorbidities differently. The significant incidence of misalignment regarding worrisome behaviors warrants further exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Oppositionality
  • Parentĝ€"child communication
  • Sociolinguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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