Research was demonstrating that under conditions of continuous reward, the performances of ADHD children were often indistinguishable from normal children on various lab tasks but when reinforcement patterns shifted to partial reward or to extinction (no reward) conditions, children with ADHD showed significant declines in their performance (Douglas & Parry, 1983, 1994; Parry & Douglas, 1983). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 271-283. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19, 13-22. It was also observed that deficits in the control of behavior by rules characterized these children (Barkley, 1989a). Humphries, T., Koltun, H., Malone, M., & Roberts, W. Teacher-identified oral language difficulties among boys with attention problems. This course will equip clinicians to have a basic understanding of the nature of ADHD, the history of the disorder, its causes, and its associated disorders and impairments. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 4, 183-207. This course provides an overview of the nature of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, briefly considers its history, describes its developmental course and outcomes, and discusses its causes. It has since been updated most recently in January 2013. Even so, within a few years of the creation of the label ADD, concern arose that the important features of hyperactivity and impulse control were being de-emphasized when in fact they were critically important to differentiating the disorder from other conditions and to predicting later developmental risks (Barkley, 2006; Barkley et al., 2008; Weiss & Hechtman, 1993).
This concept evolved into that of minimal brain damage, and eventually minimal brain dysfunction (MBD), as challenges were raised to the original label in view of the dearth of evidence of obvious brain injury in most cases (see Kessler, 1980, for a more detailed history of MBD). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 1514-1524.
By the 1950s-1970s, focus shifted away from etiology and toward the more specific behavior of hyperactivity and poor impulse control characterizing these children, reflected in labels such as “hyperkinetic impulse disorder” or “hyperactive child syndrome” (Burks, 1960; Chess, 1960).
The disorder was thought to arise from cortical overstimulation due to poor thalamic filtering of stimuli entering the brain (Knobel, Wolman, & Mason, 1959; Laufer, Denhoff, & Solomons, 1957).
Significant, historically, was the distinction in DSM-III between two types of ADD: those with hyperactivity and those without it. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 1065-1079.
Little research existed at the time on the latter subtype that would have supported such a distinction being made in an official and increasingly prestigious diagnostic taxonomy.