Representation of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and construction of diagnosed individual’s identity in institutional discourse

Vilar Lluch, Sara (2020) Representation of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and construction of diagnosed individual’s identity in institutional discourse. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis studies how Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the diagnosed individuals are representated in medical, educational and laypeople communities. Historically depicted by the media as a myth or benign condition (Barkley et al. 2002), ADHD is one of the most common diagnoses in childhood with potential lifelong effects (Kutcher et al., 2004:12).
This thesis considers the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) for the representation of ADHD in psychiatry, educational guidelines for its representation in the education community, and forum threads from ADD Forums for its understanding among parents of diagnosed individuals. Potentially stigmatizing lexicalisations and influences across the textual generes are also examined.
The analysis draws on the SFL transitivity framework (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004), Appraisal theory (Martin & White, 2005), and cognitive approaches on metaphor and metonymy (Dirven, 2003; Radden & Kövecses, 1999). The data was manually annotated, and a pilot study of a sub-corpus addressed the consistency of the analysis.
Similarities in the representation of ADHD and the evaluation of diagnosed individuals are observed across the textual genres. Conceptual metaphor and metonymy analysis evidences complementarity in the understanding of extreme behaviour and inattention among the three social communities. Behaviour is conceptualised as a gradable entity, and scalability marks clinical significance. Lexicalisations of (in)attention show that the faculty of attention is understood as a spatial relationship of the individual with the surroundings. Overall, no evidence of linguistic stigmatisation was found in the corpus. This thesis supports studies that relate stigma with people’s perceptions of behaviour rather than with diagnosis disclosure. This thesis proposes that evaluative inferences of human behaviour are metonymically motivated, establishing an EFFECT→CAUSE metonymy relationship among different parts of an action scenario.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2022 11:31
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2023 01:38


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