Does the education system serve as a persuasion agent for recommending ADHD diagnosis and medication uptake? A qualitative case study to identify and characterize the persuasion strategies of Israeli teachers and school counselors

Anat Gesser-Edelsburg, Rasha Hamade Boukai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There has been a steady rise in the use of medication by Israeli school children to treat ADHD, partly due to what seems like school teachers' and counselors' tendency to express positive attitudes towards its use. Therfore it is important to examine the involvement of the school teachers and counselors in the parents' decision-making about giving their children medication. Methods: This study used a qualitative constructivist research method of semi-structured interviews. It included individual interviews with 36 teachers and school counselors and 11 parents of students ages 9-14 from the Jewish and Arab populations. Results: Teachers and school counselors use different strategies to encourage parents to have their children diagnosed for ADHD and medicated. First they suggest diagnosis as a necessary step in the best interest of the child, distinguishing between diagnosis and medication to mitigate parents' concerns. In the second stage, teachers normalize the use of medication, as well as framing it as a drug that provides not only a medical treatment but also emotional wellbeing. Conclusions: Teachers and counselors are involved in parents' decision-making process about medicating their children to treat ADHD, which contradicts the education system's guidelines. It is necessary to set clear and explicit limits and guidelines for education system employees so that they do not cross professional and ethical limits.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number153
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 May 2019

Keywords

  • ADHD diagnosis
  • Discourse with parents
  • Medication uptake
  • Persuasion strategies
  • Qualitative study
  • Teachers and school counselors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Does the education system serve as a persuasion agent for recommending ADHD diagnosis and medication uptake? A qualitative case study to identify and characterize the persuasion strategies of Israeli teachers and school counselors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this