A magazine created by Colorado College students as part of the course, FG200 Introduction to Feminist Thought, taught by Assistant Professor Heidi Lewis during Block 6, 2014.
Students with negative social relationships during elementary years deal with detrimental consequences through adolescence and adulthood, making the prevalent issue of poor peer relations among children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) of heightened importance. Current empirically supported combination treatments tend to mitigate negative symptoms of ADHD and teach social skills rather than normalize interpersonal relationships. A possible explanation for the ineffectiveness on elementary social interactions is the prevailing lack of understanding of the disorder among children, non-ADHD and ADHD alike. Stigmatization of mental disorders and positive illusionary bias are impressionable concepts concerning misinterpretations, both ultimately preventing treatments from improving peer relations. Yet rather than altering or omitting current intervention tactics, addressing misconceptions and improving relative discourses may increase the acceptance of the disorder among classmates and susceptibility to treatments among affected students, therefore improving the relationships between children. This paper examines the manifestations of ADHD stigmatization in social interactions with classmates and the influences of positive illusionary bias on social competency with children with ADHD, while synthesizing current literature surrounding established ADHD interventions and the implications for peer relations. Additional recommendations for teachers to facilitate dialogues as well as modify deliverance of feedback to increase conceptualization and transparency in the complexities and effects of ADHD as a social disorder, in order to ultimately promote positive peer relations.