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Family troubles?Exploring changes and challenges in the family lives of children and young people$
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Jane Ribbens McCarthy, Carol-Ann Hooper, and Val Gillies

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447304432

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447304432.001.0001

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Children’s non-conforming behaviour: personal trouble or public issue?

Children’s non-conforming behaviour: personal trouble or public issue?

Chapter:
(p.106) (p.107) Chapter Nine Children’s non-conforming behaviour: personal trouble or public issue?
Source:
Family troubles?
Author(s):

Geraldine Brady

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447304432.003.0009

Parents’ perceptions of their child when development or behaviour does not appear to conform to societal norms are influenced by the pervasive discourses of health, normality, childhood and parenting. This chapter draws on data from qualitative research into the experience of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis, to explore how the behaviour of some children becomes differentiated from the norm and problematised through a process that is underpinned by the dominant biomedical model of health. The following tension is explored: biomedical diagnosis of emotional and behavioural difficulties (including ADHD) leads to children’s behaviour being framed as a specific medical condition, which prompts specialist intervention, thereby rendering a somewhat private, family trouble as a more public issue. Simultaneously, a medical diagnosis can work to depoliticize troublesome behavior so that it is regarded not as intrinsically related to the structure of the social system, but as an individualized problem.

Keywords:   Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Biomedical model, Diagnosis, Family trouble, Depoliticisation

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