Teachers’ role and attitudes concerning ADHD medication: a qualitative analysis

Maruschka Sluiter, Albert W. Wienen, Ernst Thoutenhoofd, Jeannette Doornenbal, Laura Batstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The increased use of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medication by children has led to growing concerns. In a previous study, we found that many of the teachers that were interviewed about ADHD spontaneously associated ADHD with medication. The present study is a qualitative reanalysis of what precisely these 30 primary school teachers had spontaneously said about medication in our previous semi‐structured interviews on ADHD. Almost all respondents had experience with pupils taking ADHD medication. The majority spontaneously mentions medication as the treatment of ADHD. Attitudes towards ADHD medication use by pupils are mainly ambivalent, but more positive than negative effects of medication are reported. However, what teachers say about ADHD medication is often not based on sound information; their attitudes tend to be formed by personal experiences rather than founded on professional and scientific sources. We conclude from our analysis that it will be in the interest of reducing the number of children on ADHD medication that teachers have good access to verified and up‐to‐date information on ADHD and medication so that they are better supported in making evidence‐based pedagogical judgments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019


  • education
  • adhd


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