Elementary school teachers' knowledge and attitudes related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Objective: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in child and adolescent psychiatry. ADHD children are at risk for academic and psychological difficulties. Lack of cooperation between schools, parents and therapeutic institutions inhibits a multimodal treatment program. This study surveys elementary school teachers' knowledge and attitudes towards attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Material and methods: Eighty-seven elementary school teachers in Sivas-Turkey, anonymously completed a self-report questionnaire on ADHD. Results: Knowledge about ADHD was relatively low. The attitude score towards ADHD children was moderate. Approximately one third (32.2%) of teachers agreed that ADHD is due to biological and genetic vulnerabilities and causation. About two-three (65.5%) of respondents believed that it is a consequence of parental spoiling. A little over half (60.9%) agreed that the same discipline rules used for all children should be applied to ADHD children. Up to two third (67.8%) believe that ADHD children experience difficulties in their relations with their classmates. There was a significant correlation between teachers' knowledge of ADHD and their attitude. The main sources of knowledge about ADHD were: Television, friends, newspapers/ magazines, specialized literature and medical personnel. Conclusions: Main conclusion of this study was the insufficient knowledge and moderate tolerant attitudes among teachers regarding to ADHD. Comprehensive training in ADHD is very necessary for the preliminary school teachers. It is the starting point for better diagnosis, management, and treatment of these children with ADHD.