ERIC Number: ED207715
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Hyperactivity as a Personality Disorder.
Waddell, Kathleen J.
While hyperactivity in children has been alternately viewed as a form of minimal brain dysfunction, as a behavior disorder, or as an attention deficit disorder, recent findings on hyperactive adolescents and adults suggest that hyperactivity can be better understood as a personality disorder. Striking similarities appear when characteristics of the male personality and the symptoms of hyperactivity, which occur in a ratio of 10 males to one female, are compared. Male traits (such as high activity level, daring, impulsivity, low impulse control, aggression, antisocial behavior, difficulties in delaying gratification, overreaction to frustration, dominance, defensiveness, and deception) in an exaggerated and maladjusted form combine with attention deficits to constitute a personality disorder. Findings of recent research indicate that symptoms of hyperactivity do not disappear in puberty. Rather, symptoms shift from academic and learning difficulties to social and self-concept problems. In comparison to matched peer-group controls, the self-image of the hyperactive adolescent has been found to be that of an inadequate person who continues to experience problems of adaptation. Most research on hyperactivity has been concerned with establishing and verifying the efficacy of different drug treatments, yet long-term follow-up studies on drug treatment show no long-term treatment effects. Additionally, no consistent and reliable evidence for the etiological theories of minimal brain damage have been verified. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-28, 1981).