ADHD, teenagers & society

Brenton Prosser PhD

About this site:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorder in the United States and is amongst the most diagnosed childhood disorders in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.


Around the world, people are trying to come to terms with the growth in drug use to treat young people with socially unacceptable behaviour. Why has it occurred? Why is it necessary? What does it mean for the future? Controversy rages over the suitability of using drugs to treat the disorder.


Despite a disorder being by definition a physical difference that causes social problems, solely medical explanations and treatment have dominated the history of ADHD.


If we only ask medical questions about ADHD, we will only get medical answers and more or less drug treatment. However, if we also ask educational, political and cultural questions, we will gain a better understanding of ADHD and identify barriers to the success of current ADHD interventions.


My work focuses in two main areas:

  • what can the accounts of teenagers living with ADHD show us about issues such as drug treatment, labelling, school responses, ADHD identity and the impact of the media?

  • what are the cultural, educational and political faces of ADHD and how might ADHD be related to recent changes in western society?

By considering the other side of the ADHD coin, we can encourage a new view that will help young people and their families. We need to not only be asking why our kids are failing at school and in society, but also how schools and society are failing our kids?


Latest News:

  • Paper on ADHD and pedagogy accepted in International Journal of Inclusive Education for January 2008
  • Conference presentation at AARE (Nov07)
  • Promotional visit to NZ, UK and USA held in April 2007
  • "Seeing Red" - launched at AARE Conference (Nov06)
  • "ADHD: who's failing who" - now on sale at BIG W (Aug06)
  • "Seeing Red" pre-release information (May06)
  • "ADHD: who's failing who" - book launch (Apr06)
  • Finch Publishing to ask 'Who's failing who?' (Oct05)

Copyright Brenton Prosser PhD
Last updated: 11/23/07.


  ADHD: who's failing who?

        (Australian distributor  New Zealand distributor)


Seeing Red: narrative in ADHD research

       (order online)



ADHD Publications:

  • For latest academic publications and conference papers, please visit: this page





Doctoral Research Project: