Does The Absence Of Fathers Cause ADHD?

Ken AshfordHealth Care, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

That’s the question raised by a new book entitled Destructive Trends in Mental Health: The Well-Intentioned Path to Harm.  The authors there assert that ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) might be related to a lack of a positive father figure.  Or more precisely, a lack of a disciplinary father figure.

I’m actually in accord with much conservative thinking on this matter.  Based on my limited experience with kids who supposedly have ADHD, I tend to shy away from the notion that their bahavior is always due to a chemical imbalance, treatable with drugs.  Yeah, that may be the case with many kids — or even most kids — but sometimes I wonder if ADHD isn’t the fallback excuse adopted by embarrassed parents who can’t face the simple truth: their kid is simply an obnoxious brat.

On the other hand, I think the conservative position can be taken too far, to the extent the "family values" people are now trying to debunk ADHD in order to promote "nuclear families" and the need for disciplinary daddies.  From my (again limited) experience, kids who grew up with strong disciplinary fathers have matured to become, well, kind of chauvenistic dicks and macho shitheads.

I don’t know.  I have more to say on this topic, but there’s a bright shiny object on my desk.  Look!