construction theory involves discourse around the social interactions that occur andorm a socially constructed relationship. Based on contemporary events and interpreta-tions o these events, the theory holds that “people’s belies about the world are socialinventions. Reality is socially constructed based on people’s denitions” (Cheung,1997, p. 332).Similarly, an organism’s condition that has been determined to be not normal or notoperating at a level that society expects is believed to be abnormal and labeled as such.The language pertaining to this abnormality or disorder may warrant this condition or dis-ease to be proven abnormal through empirical evidence, and the results declared scienti-cally valid. It is through the social construction o mental illnesses that I present exampleso what has been dened as abnormal or outside society’s acceptance o normal humanexperience by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
ADHD: Social Construction of a Mental Disorder?
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual o Mental Disorders
), a publication o APA,refects
cultural and societal trends relative to societal belies and behaviors.Many developed countries in the world ollow the DSM, but it is important to under-stand that mental disorders are dened rom American science and ontology. The inter-national discourse on psychiatric or mental disorders, as is the case with the diagnosis o attention decit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, is considerable (Amaral,2007; Berbatis, Sunderland, & Bulsara, 2002; Lloyd & Norris, 1999; Mott & Melchior,2007; Norris & Lloyd, 2000; Polanczyk, de Lima, Horta, Biederman, & Rohde, 2007).Brie examples ollow to demonstrate, rst o all, how the power o the DSM infuencesAmerican societal norms, belies, and behaviors.It was in the
(1952) that homosexuality was listed under the category o socio-pathic personality disturbance. The
historically undergoes rigorous review andupdate as a byproduct o scientic research and knowledge and standardization o psy-chiatric diagnoses (Mayes & Horwitz, 2005). In 1973, the
listed homosexualityunder personality disorders and certain other nonpsychotic mental disorders. In deningdiagnostic criteria or homosexuality in the
, and this exemplies social construc-tion, patients who perormed homosexual acts while imprisoned or at least 1 year with-out access to the opposite sex were excluded rom this diagnosis (Feighner et al., 1972).Finally, in 1980, the APA removed homosexuality entirely rom the
as a mentaldisorder. Furthermore, the controversy o introductions and deletions on that whichwarrants psychiatric diagnosis does not withstand consistent empirical rigor (Zucker &Spitzer, 2005).Passive–aggressive personality almost became the term or a psychiatric disorder to beidentied and included in the
. It was determined that urther studies would beneeded to establish the validity or this perceived psychiatric disorder (Feighner et al.,1972). During the timerame o the 1960s to early 1970s, one may assume that thepassive–aggressive personality style within society became objectied and was thought tobe abnormal and possibly a orm o mental illness. In this example, the rigor o scienticresearch did not support passive–aggressive behaviors as disorders.Historically, the social construction o disease has generated mobility o importantresources to help support genuine social and health problems. Fox (1989) writes o thesocial movement that was constructed around the phenomenon o Alzheimer’s disease in
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