From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults: Observations on the Expansion of Medical Categories PETER CONRAD, Brandeis University DEBORAH POTTER, Brandeis University Medicalization is, by definition, about the extension of medicalboundaries. Analogous to "domain expan- sion, " extant medicalized categories can expand to become broader and more inclusive.This paper examinesthe emergence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)in adults.ADHD, commonly known as Hyperac- tivity, became established in the 1970s as a diagnosis for children; it expanded first to include "adult hyperactives" and, in the 1990s, "ADHD Adults." This allowedfor the inclusion of an entire population of people and their problems that were excluded by the original conception of hyperactive children. We show how lay, professional, and media claims help establish the expandeddiagnostic category. We identifyparticular aspects of the social context that contributed
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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, All rights reserved, Medicalization