Literature Review on ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an illness described as a lack of impulsivity and attention. Lack of attention is due to dysfunctions in brain areas that control the executive function. Executive abilities include flexible thinking, brief memory, and self-regulation. These abilities set the basis for an individual’s attention, focus on assignments, organization, emotional control, organization abilities, and self-assessment.

Summary of the studies

Driga and Drigas (2019) investigated the likely causes of the illness and especially those whose impact is connected to early years and pregnancy. Children with low weight during delivery or those delivered prematurely are at a greater risk of having ADHD. They proved that maternal alcohol consumption, smoking, and psychological illnesses in pregnancy are responsible for ADHD in children. Driga and Drigas (2019) also established that electronics as a distraction factor to children exacerbate symptoms. Most notably, ineffective parenting techniques have been shown to be a big hindrance for a child with ADHD. The use of medication has been shown to worsen emotional disorders accompanying ADHD.  Moreover, there are lasting effects of medication that are not well documented or researched. In ADHD, the emphasis is accorded on treating the brain areas and functions affected by the disorder. Brain training through neurofeedback has been shown to be of greater quality than typical computerized brain training. Meditation and mindfulness have been shown to lower anxiety and stress levels, as well as ADHD symptoms. Early intervention was also found to result in significant improvements in children diagnosed with ADHD.

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Areces et al. (2018) compared the cognitive factors and attention profiles of students with ADHD and healthy students. They found that the two groups were significantly different on the basis of their behavioral and cognitive profiles. Students with ADHD exhibited lesser working memory and processing rate compared to students with no ADHD, which is consistent with previous research. Comparing behavior, students with ADHD performed badly compared to those in the control group. In their study, Schoenfelder et al. (2017) piloted a short treatment plan for teenagers with ADHD together with their parents to raise intervention awareness and family inspiration to look for interventions. It showed that adolescent ADHD seminar is a practical and suitable action to raise awareness on ADHD with evidence-based interventions.

Strine et al. (2006) investigated the behavioral and emotional issues and impairment areas among children with a history of ADHD in nonmedical, countrywide representative samples. They found that children with ADHD history were six times more prone than children with no ADHD to have high oral complexities levels, such as peer, emotional, and behavior issues. They were also nine times prone to elevated impairment levels, such as interference with classroom learning, home life, leisure activities, and friendships. According to Wilens and Spencer (2010), ADHD is usually linked to co-occurring illnesses, like disruptive nervousness, substance abuse, and mood. It is diagnosed by the reviewing of impairment and symptoms. The biological foundation of ADHD is supported by neuro-imaging, genetic, neuropsychological, and neurochemistry data. Multimodal treatment of ADHD includes family, educational, and individual support. Wilens and Spencer (2010) assert that psychotherapy only in combination with medication is useful for ADHD and comorbid problems.

Rassovsky and Alfassi (2018) measured the impact of physical activities on improving the attention of persons with ADHD against those with no ADHD. Contrary to previous studies that compared performance at the beginning and after exercising, the study investigated the impact of physical exercise as participants participated in regular exercise. The results indicated that the group with ADHD reaction in physical exercise was faster and reduced omission errors, while healthy persons showed a contrary pattern. Significantly, the overall relatively lower performance of persons with ADHD on such procedures was only obvious in resting state, achieving the same scores as persons without ADHD in exercise. The findings imply a likely hypoactive attention structure in ADHD that can be improved by stimulation through physical activities. Regarding the treatment of ADHD, Aadil (2017) established that mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy is obviously beneficial, particularly when applied in combination with medication, and it may augment the general compliance.

Relationship between key cognition aspects and the literature

Literature shows that ADHD is caused by brain damage during pregnancy or birth. It is important to be aware of cause of ADHD to determine treatment methods and ensure prevention. Due to brain damage, children with ADHD have low working memory and processing speed. They also experience high level of oral complexities, including peer, emotional, and behavior problems. Literature also indicates that ADHD is usually connected to recurring disorders, such as disruptive anxiety, mood, and substance abuse. Literature proposes that the positive effects of physical exercises on children with ADHD may be due to dopamine release induced by exercises. Chang et al. (2012) asserts that exercises can be come with the activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a brain area that is believed to be dysfunctional in persons with ADHD.


The brain is responsible for cognitive processes that influence human behavior. Behavior is explained in regards to how the mind works, that is the approach of processing information. The nervous system of human beings can handle endless information streams. The senses are used as the interface between the mind and outside environment, receiving stimuli and interpreting it into nervous impulses that are conveyed to the brain. The information is then processed by the brain and it uses the applicable pieces that are held in working memory and then articulated through language or stored in the memory for future use. People act based on the memories or past experiences.

How the view of cognition has evolved over the history of psychology

The perception of cognition has developed over time through increasing research. The study of cognition has shed more light on the cause of disorders associated with dysfunction of cognition. Research has demonstrated how cognition affects individual behaviors and profiles. It has revealed new diagnosis and treatment methods. For example, studies reviewed in this literature indicate other effective interventions like exercises and mindfulness that can be used together with medication.

Conclusions that Can Be Reached about Cognitive Psychology

From the studies conducted it can be concluded that ADHD is a cognitive disorder, which is a developmental injury of executive operations. Most children with ADHD do not have significant behavioral problems. They have lower working memory, low processing speed, oral difficulties, and disruptive anxieties, mood, and substance abuse, which are connected to cognition. Although medication has been shown to treat ADHD it cannot be used alone. Instead, medication should be used along Meditation and mindfulness and exercises that stimulate a part of the brain responsible for ADHD.

Research Designs Used in the Studies

The studies use Cohort research design to study children with ADHD over time. The studies note statistical occurrences in the groups being studied that are related to the research questions. The studies have used the cohort design to compare between groups of persons with ADHD and those of persons without to make conclusions.

How ethics is addressed

The researchers have addressed ethics in the studies by seeking approval from appropriate authorities. For example, the study by Areces et al. (2018) was endorsed by CEIC Ethics Committee and the medical data base made available according to the Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association. The participants of the studies including parents and children offered written informed consent following a complete account of the studies.


Aadil, M., Cosme, R. M., &Chernaik, J. (2017). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an Adjunct Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Young Adults: A Literature Review. Retrieved from

Areces, D., Dockrell, J., García, T., González-Castro, P., & Rodríguez, C. (2018). Analysis of cognitive and attentional profiles in children with and without ADHD using an innovative virtual reality tool. PloS one, 13(8), e0201039.