What is it about?
Psychological theory impacts how disorders are understood and defined. We review current psychological concepts of ADHD, demonstrating a common deficit-based perspective drawn from cognitive-behavioural theory. We argue this perspective does not account for variations between individuals or the importance of the context, and automatically defines neuro processing differences as abnormal. Self-determination theory (SDT) provides an alternative approach to self-development, presented as the foundation for a positive perspective on ADHD and key to developing new models and treatment approaches.
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Why is it important?
Deficit-based models identify ADHD neurobiology and resulting behaviour as abnormal leading to stigma and a negative sense of self. SDT recognises variables that research shows are strong in ADHD, like interest and autonomy, as main features supporting internal motivation and self-determination. Viewing ADHD neuro processing through an SDT lens shows ADHD as a natural difference within neurodiversity providing a new understanding and insights for treatment.
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This page is a summary of: Seeking connection, autonomy, and emotional feedback: A self-determination theory of self-regulation in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder., Psychological Review, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/rev0000398.
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