Retour Research - Agitated children, turbulent trajectories

“Enfants agités, familles bouleversées. Enjeux et usages familiaux du diagnostic de TDA/H”, in the Sciences Sociales et Santé journal

Published in the Sciences sociales et santé journal (2019/1), this article presents some of the analyses resulting from the SAGE team work.

“A concept with vague contours and the subject of fierce controversy, child agitation is an exemplary case to highlight complex links between disorders qualification and family organization. Within a very fragmented landscape (different symptoms, professional approaches and care methods), we focus here on the experience of families who are members of the HyperSupers TDA/H France association. Our survey leads us to strongly relativize an interpretation in terms of school failure medicalization. While some parts of the child’s life are medicalized, contradictory processes are also at stake. Other logics underlie the diagnostic quest, linked as much to academic issues as to social trajectories and family configurations. The ADHD diagnosis thus appears as an opportunity for parents to regain control in several areas. Moreover, the different forms of disorders “treatment”, from medication to the transformation of educational practices, invite us to distinguish medicalization and pathologization: the place taken by an interpretation in terms of health problems is not necessarily related to the use of practices in the medical field, such as taking drugs. Medication can be taken in a perspective of normalizing the situation, while work on educational practices can be associated with an emphasis on the situational pathological nature. »