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Is ADHD Based On Biological Or Psychological Factors?


Many people are wondering whether or not ADHD is based on biological or psychological factors. To be specific, it can be argued that ADHD is highly based on biological factors. This article will provide evidence to support this point. To be specific, it will prove that chemical differences in the brain exist to support the point that ADHD is caused by biological factors (Jaska, 1998). It will also provide evidence that ADHD is based on genetic factors, which also supports the point that ADHD is caused by biological factors (Jaska, 1998).

ADHD Is Caused By Chemical Differences In The Brain

Jaska (1998) argues researchers have shown that people with ADHD have abnormalities in their brains. According to Jaska (1998), as a result of abnormalities in the brains of people with ADHD, the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine are effected. Alban (2015) states that dopamine contributes to motivation, productivity, and focus. According to Purse (2015), “Norepinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. As a hormone, secreted by the adrenal gland, it works alongside adrenaline (also known as epinephrine) to give the body sudden energy in times of stress known as the “fight or flight” response. As a neurotransmitter, it passes nerve impulses from one neuron to the next.” Hence, due to the low supply of these two neurotransmitters, it can be argued ADHD is based on biological factors.

ADHD Is Caused By Genetic Factors

According to Jaska (1998), several genes have been linked to ADHD. Jaska (1998) argues that the connection of these genes to ADHD makes the disorder highly heritable. To be specific, Jaska (1998) states that dopamine receptor genes such as DRD4 and D2 are linked to ADHD. Jaska (1998) also has indicated that the dopamine transport gene DAT1 is also linked to ADHD. Jaska (1998) concludes his argument stating “There is a great deal of evidence that ADHD runs in families, which is suggestive of genetic factors. Recent studies suggest that anywhere from 40-60% of children of adults with ADHD will also have the condition.” This evidence is huge to support the point that ADHD is based on biological factors.


According to Jaska (1998), “ADHD is NOT caused by: poor parenting, falls or
head injuries, traumatic life events, digital distractions, video games and television, lack of physical activity, food additives, food allergies, or excess sugar.” All of the above factors are based on environmental factors. However, these factors do not cause the development of ADHD. Instead, biological factors cause the development of ADHD. Studies are still being conducted on ADHD and how to manage the symptoms from the disorder. The bottom line is if you develop proper and sufficient coping skills to manage the disorder you will succeed.

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Is ADHD Based On Biological Or Psychological Factors?

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2015). Is ADHD Based On Biological Or Psychological Factors?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Dec 2015
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