Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Mark Costanzo


In recent decades a growing number of individuals in preschool, middle childhood and adolescence have been diagnosed with ADHD. Accompanying increasing rates of diagnoses is an increase in the use of stimulant medication in preschool populations, a practice not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This paper reviews the current literature pertaining the social and developmental consequences of ADHD, its effect on the child and family, treatment strategies with and without the use of stimulants, and cultural and diagnostic trends which may be contributing to the rising number of diagnoses. A review of the literature suggests that there is a dire need for further empirical research into the use of stimulant medications in preschoolers, and a number of cultural factors unique to the United States have contributed to increasing rates of ADHD diagnosis.