Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-768dbb666b-prhj4 Total loading time: 1.201 Render date: 2023-02-05T15:27:26.076Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Chapter 15 - Evolutionary Perspectives on Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 September 2022

Riadh Abed
Mental Health Tribunals, Ministry of Justice, UK
Paul St John-Smith
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, UK
Get access


We discuss evolutionary perspectives on two neurodevelopmental disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both have a genetic background, and we explore why these genes may have survived the process of natural selection. We draw on the concept of evolutionary mismatch, in which a trait that may have conferred advantages in the past can become disadvantageous when the environment changes. We also describe the non-genetic influences on these conditions. We point out that children with neurodevelopmental conditions are more likely to suffer maltreatment, so it is important to consider both the genes and the environment in which children have grown up. In hunter-gatherer societies, ADHD may have favoured risk-taking, which may explain why it has survived. The contemporary model of schooling, in which children are expected to sit still for many hours a day, does not favour this. Understanding ADHD in terms of an evolutionary mismatch therefore raises ethical issues regarding both medication and the school environment. ASDs are far more heterogeneous and are characterised by high heritability and low reproductive success. At the severe end of the spectrum, ASD is highly disadvantageous and often co-occurs with intellectual disability. On the other hand, high-functioning ASD may have been adaptive in our evolutionary past in terms of the potential for the development of specialist skills and can still be so today in the right environment.

Evolutionary Psychiatry
Current Perspectives on Evolution and Mental Health
, pp. 228 - 243
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Abikoff, H. B., Abikoff, H. B., Thompson, M., Laver-Bradbury, C., Long, N., Forehand, R. L., Miller Brotman, L., Klein, R. G., Reiss, P., Huo, L. and Sonuga-Barke, E. (2015). Parent training for preschool ADHD: a randomized controlled trial of specialized and generic programs. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56, 618631.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
ADHD Institute (2019). Epidemiology. Retrieved from (accessed 12 March 2021).Google Scholar
Auerbach, J. G., Atzaba-Poria, N., Berger, A. and Landau, R. (2004). Emerging developmental pathways to ADHD: possible path markers in early infancy. Neural Plasticity, 11, 2943.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. and van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2015). The hidden efficacy of interventions: gene × environment experiments from a differential susceptibility perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 66, 381409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barkley, R. A. (2006). Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Barkley, R. A. (2012). Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
Bateman, A. J. (1948). Intrasexual selection in Drosophila. Heredity, 2, 349368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beijers, R., Buitelaar, J. K. and de Weerth, C. (2014). Mechanisms underlying the effects of prenatal psychosocial stress on child outcomes: beyond the HPA axis. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 23, 943956.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Belsky, J. (2005). Differential susceptibility to rearing influence. In: Ellis, B. and Bjorklund, D. (eds.), Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development. New York: Guilford Press, pp. 139163.Google Scholar
Belsky, J. and Hartman, S. (2014). Gene–environment interaction in evolutionary perspective: differential susceptibility to environmental influences. World Psychiatry, 13, 8789.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Belsky, J., Schlomer, G. L. and Ellis, B. J. (2012). Beyond cumulative risk: distinguishing harshness and unpredictability as determinants of parenting and early life history strategy. Developmental Psychology, 48, 662673.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bosch, N. M., Riese, H., Reijneveld, S. A., Bakker, M. P., Verhulst, F. C., Ormel, J. and Oldehinkel, A. J. (2012). Timing matters: long term effects of adversities from prenatal period up to adolescence on adolescents’ cortisol stress response. The TRAILS study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37, 14391447.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Breen, M. S., Wingo, A. P., Koen, N., Donald, K. A., Nicol, M., Zar, H. J., Ressler, K. J., Buxbaum, J. D. and Stein, D. J. (2018). Gene expression in cord blood links genetic risk for neurodevelopmental disorders with maternal psychological distress and adverse childhood outcomesBrain, Behavior, and Immunity73, 320330.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brown, T. E. (2013). A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults: Executive Function impairments. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cartwright, K. L., Bitsakou, P., Daley, D., Gramzow, R. H., Psychogiou, L., Simonoff, E., Thompson, M. J. and Sonuga-Barke, E. J. (2011). Disentangling child and family influences on maternal expressed emotion toward children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorderJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry50, 10421053.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Casanova, E. L., Switala, A. E., Dandamudi, S., Hickman, A. R., Vandenbrink, J., Sharp, J. L., Feltus, F. A. and Casanova, M. F. (2019). Autism risk genes are evolutionarily ancient and maintain a unique feature landscape that echoes their functionAutism Research12, 860869.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chen, K., Fortin, N. and Phipps, S. (2015). Young in class: implications for inattentive/hyperactive behaviour of Canadian boys and girls. Canadian Journal of Economics, 48, 16011634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chen, M.-H., Lan, W.-H.Bai, Y.-M.Huang, K.-L.Su, T.-P.Tsai, S.-J.Li, C.-T.Lin, W.-C.Chang, W.-H.Pan, T.-L.Chen, T.-J. and Hsu, J.-W. (2016). Influence of relative age on diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in Taiwanese children. Journal of Pediatrics, 172, 162167.e1.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Christiaens, I., Hegadoren, K. and Olson, D. M. (2015). Adverse childhood experiences are associated with spontaneous preterm birth: a case–control study. BMC Medicine, 13, 124.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Clearfield, M. W. and Jedd, K. E. (2013). The effects of socio-economic status on infant attention. Infant and Child Development, 22, 5367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cofnas, N. (2016). A teleofunctional account of evolutionary mismatch. Biological Philosophy, 31, 507525.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Crespi, B. J. (2016). Autism as a disorder of high intelligenceFrontiers in Neuroscience10, 300.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
de la Cruz, L. F., Simonoff, E., McGough, J. J., Halperin, J. M., Arnold, L. E. and Stringaris, A. (2015). Treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and irritability: results from the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA)Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry54, 6270.e3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De La Torre-Ubieta, L., Won, H., Stein, J. L. and Geschwind, D. H. (2016). Advancing the understanding of autism disease mechanisms through genetics. Nature Medicine, 22, 345361.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
de Tychey, C., Briançon, S., Lighezzolo, J., Spitz, E., Kabuth, B., de Luigi, V., Messembourg, C., Girvan, F., Rosati, A., Thockler, A. and Vincent, S. (2008). Quality of life, postnatal depression and baby gender. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17, 312322.Google ScholarPubMed
DfE (2020). School workforce in England: November 2019. Retrieved from (accessed 12 March 2021).Google Scholar
DeJong, M. (2010). Some reflections on the use of psychiatric diagnosis in the looked after or ‘in care’ child population. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 15, 589599.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dyck, M. J., Piek, J. P. and Patrick, J. (2011). The validity of psychiatric diagnoses: the case of ‘specific’ developmental disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 27042713.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Eisenberg, D. T. A., Campbell, B., Gray, P. B. and Sorenson, M. D. (2008). Dopamine receptor genetic polymorphisms and body composition in undernourished pastoralists: an exploration of nutrition indices among nomadic and recently settled Ariaal men of northern Kenya. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8, 173.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
El-Sheikh, M. El-Sheikh, M., Kouros, C. D., Erath, S., Cummings, E. M., Keller, P. and Staton, L. (2009). Marital conflict and children’s externalizing behavior: pathways involving interactions between parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system activity. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 74, vii–79.Google Scholar
Elberling, H., Linneberg, A., Olsen, E. M., Houmann, T., Rask, C. U., Goodman, R. and Skovgaard, A. M. (2014). Infancy predictors of hyperkinetic and pervasive developmental disorders at ages 5–7 years: results from the Copenhagen Child Cohort CCC2000. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 13281335.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Elberling, H., Linneberg, A., Rask, C. U., Houman, T., Goodman, R. and Skovgaard, A. M. (2016). Psychiatric disorders in Danish children aged 5–7 years: a general population study of prevalence and risk factors from the Copenhagen Child Cohort (CCC 2000). Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 70, 146155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellis, B. J., Bianchi, J., Griskevicius, V. and Frankenhuis, W. E. (2017). Beyond risk and protective factors: an adaptation-based approach to resiliencePerspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 561587.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ersche, K. D., Turton, A. J., Chamberlain, S. R., Müller, U., Bullmore, E. T. and Robbins, T. W. (2012). Cognitive dysfunction and anxious-impulsive personality traits are endophenotypes for drug dependence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 926936.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Evans, G. W. and Schamberg, M. A. (2009). Childhood poverty, chronic stress, and adult working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106, 65456549.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fairthorne, J., Jacoby, P., Bourke, J., de Klerk, N. and Leonard, H. (2016). Onset of maternal psychiatric disorders after the birth of a child with autism spectrum disorder: a retrospective cohort studyAutism20, 3744.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Faraone, S. V., Doyle, A. E., Mick, E. and Biederman, J. (2014). Meta-analysis of the association between the 7-repeat allele of the dopamine D4 receptor gene and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 10521057.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fulton, B. D., Scheffler, R. M., Hinshaw, S. P., Levine, P., Stone, S., Brown, T. T. and Modrek, S. (2015). National variation of ADHD diagnostic prevalence and medication use: health care providers and education policies. Psychiatric Services, 60, 10751083.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ghosh, M., Holman, C. D. and Preen, D. B. (2015). Exploring parental country of birth differences in the use of psychostimulant medications for ADHD: a whole-population linked data study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39, 8892.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., Delton, A. W. and Robertson, T. E. (2011). The influence of mortality and socioeconomic status on risk and delayed rewards: a life history theory approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 10151026.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gudmundsson, O. O., Magnusson, P., Saemundsen, E., Lauth, B., Baldursson, G., Skarphedinsson, G. and Fombonne, E. (2013). Psychiatric disorders in an urban sample of preschool children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 18, 210217.Google Scholar
Haltigan, J. D., Del Giudice, M. and Khorsand, S. (2021). Growing points in attachment disorganization: looking back to advance forward. Attachment & Human Development, 23, 438454.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Harold, G. T., Leve, L. D., Barrett, D., Elam, K., Neiderhiser, J. M., Natsuaki, M. N., Shaw, D. S., Reiss, D. and Thapar, A. (2013). Biological and rearing mother influences on child ADHD symptoms: revisiting the developmental interface between nature and nurture. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 10381046.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hoshen, M. B., Benis, A., Keyes, K. M. and Zoëga, H. (2016). Stimulant use for ADHD and relative age in class among children in Israel. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 25, 652660.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hrdy, S. B. and Burkart, J. M. (2020). The emergence of emotionally modern humans: implications for language and learning. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375, 20190499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huybrechts, K. F., Sanghani, R. S., Avorn, J. and Urato, A. C. (2014). Preterm birth and antidepressant medication use during pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysisPLoS ONE9, e92778.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jarjour, I. T. (2015). Neurodevelopmental outcome after extreme prematurity: a review of the literature. Pediatric Neurology, 52, 143152.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kennedy, M., Kreppner, J., Knights, N., Kumsta, R., Maughan, B., Golm, D., Rutter, M., Schlotz, W. and Sonuga-Barke, E. J. (2016). Early severe institutional deprivation is associated with a persistent variant of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: clinical presentation, developmental continuities and life circumstances in the English and Romanian Adoptees study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 11131125.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kim, P., Evans, G. W., Angstadt, M., Ho, S. H., Sripada, C. S., Swain, J. E., Liberzon, I. and Phan, K. L. (2013). Effects of childhood poverty and chronic stress on emotion regulatory brain function in adulthood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110, 1844218447.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kong, A., Frigge, M. L., Masson, G., Besenbacher, S.Sulem, P.Magnusson, G., Gudjonsson, S. A.Sigurdsson, A.Jonasdottir, A.Jonasdottir, A.Wong, W. S. W., Sigurdsson, G.Walters, G. B.Steinberg, S.Helgason, H., Thorleifsson, G.Gudbjartsson, D. F.Helgason, A.Magnusson, O. T., Thorsteinsdottir, U. and Stefansson, K. (2012). Rate of de novo mutations and the importance of father’s age to disease riskNature488, 471475.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Krabbe, E. E., Thoutenhoofd, E.D., Conradi, M., Pijl, S. J. and Batstra, L. (2014). Birth month as predictor of ADHD medication use in Dutch school classes. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 29, 571578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kulkarni, J., Worsley, R., Gilbert, H., Gavrilidis, E., Van Rheenen, T. E., Wang, W., McCauley, K. and Fitzgerald, P. (2014). A prospective cohort study of antipsychotic medications in pregnancy: the first 147 pregnancies and 100 one year old babies. PLoS ONE, 9, e94788.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lahey, B. B., Lee, S. S., Sibley, M. H., Applegate, B., Molina, B. and Pelham, W. E. (2016). Predictors of adolescent outcomes among 4–6-year-old children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125, 168181.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Matthews, L. J. and Butler, P. M. (2011). Novelty‐seeking DRD4 polymorphisms are associated with human migration distance out‐of‐Africa after controlling for neutral population gene structure. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 145, 382389.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McClure, S. M., Laibson, D. I., Loewenstein, G. and Cohen, J. D. (2004). Separate neural systems value immediate and delayed monetary rewards. Science, 306, 503507.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McCullough, E., Gordon-Jones, S., Last, A., Vaughan, J. and Burnell, A. (2016). An evaluation of neuro-physiological psychotherapy: an integrative therapeutic approach to working with adopted children who have experienced early life trauma. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 21, 582602.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McCullough, E., Stedmon, J. and Dallos, R. (2014). Narrative responses as an aid to understanding the presentation of maltreated children who meet criteria for autistic spectrum disorder and reactive attachment disorder: a case series study. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19, 392411.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Meilleur, A. A., Jelenic, P. and Mottron, L. (2015) Prevalence of clinically and empirically defined talents and strengths in autismJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 13541367.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Miller, L. (1989). Closely Observed Infants. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
Mischel, W. (2014). Marshmallow Test. New York: Little, Brown and Company.Google Scholar
Modabbernia, A., Velthorst, E. and Reichenberg, A. (2017). Environmental risk factors for autism: an evidence-based review of systematic reviews and meta-analysesMolecular Autism8, 13.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mohammadzadeh, A. and Farhat, A. (2014). Fetal alcohol syndrome. Asia Pacific Journal of Medical Toxicology, 3, 10.Google Scholar
Moore, C. and Macgillivray, S. (2004). Altruism, prudence, and theory of mind in preschoolers. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 103, 5162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morris, A. S., Silk, J. S., Steinberg, L., Myers, S. S. and Robinson, L. R. (2007). The role of the family context in the development of emotion regulation. Social Development, 16, 361388.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Murray, L., Kempton, C., Woolgar, M. and Hooper, R. (1993). Depressed mothers’ speech to their infants and its relation to infant gender and cognitive development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 34, 10831101.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Music, G. (2011). Misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Counselling Children and Young People, 2, 26.Google Scholar
Music, G. (2016). Nurturing Natures: Attachment and Children’s Emotional, Social and Brain Development. London: Psychology Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
National Autistic Society (2021). What is autism? Retrieved from (accessed 12 March 2021).Google Scholar
NHS (2018). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Retrieved from (accessed 12 March 2021).Google Scholar
Noble, K. G., Norman, M. F. and Farah, M. J. (2005). Neurocognitive correlates of socioeconomic status in kindergarten children. Developmental Science, 8, 7487.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Oswald, S. H., Heil, K. and Goldbeck, L. (2010). History of maltreatment and mental health problems in foster children: a review of the literature. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 462472.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Panzer, A. and Viljoen, M. (2005). Supportive evidence for ADHD as a neurodevelopmental disorder. Medical Hypotheses, 64, 755758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pappa, I., Mileva-Seitz, V. R., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Tiemeier, H. and van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2015). The magnificent seven: a quantitative review of dopamine receptor D4 and its association with child behavior. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 57, 175186.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Perry, B. D., Pollard, R. A., Blakley, T. L., Baker, W. L. and Vigilante, D. (1995). Childhood trauma, the neurobiology of adaptation, and ‘use-dependent’ development of the brain: how ‘states’ become ‘traits’. Infant Mental Health Journal, 16, 271291.3.0.CO;2-B>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ploeger, A. and Galis, F. (2011). Evolutionary approaches to autism – an overview and integrationMcGill Journal of Medicine13, 3843.Google Scholar
Polanczyk, G. V., Willcutt, E. G., Salum, G. A., Kieling, C. and Rohde, L. A. (2014). ADHD prevalence estimates across three decades: an updated systematic review and meta-regression analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology, 43, 434442.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Polimanti, R. and Gelernter, J. (2017). Widespread signatures of positive selection in common risk alleles associated to autism spectrum disorder. PLoS Genetics13, e1006618.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Posner, M. I., Rothbart, M. K., Sheese, B. E. and Voelker, P. (2014). Developing attention: behavioral and brain mechanisms. Advances in Neuroscience, 2014, 405094.Google ScholarPubMed
Rangmar, J., Hjern, A., Vinnerljung, B., Strömland, K., Aronson, M. and Fahlke, C. (2015). Psychosocial outcomes of fetal alcohol syndrome in adulthood. Pediatrics, 135, e52e58.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Reser, J. E. (2011). Conceptualizing the autism spectrum in terms of natural selection and behavioral ecology: the solitary forager hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychology9, 207238.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Roskam, I., Stievenart, M., Tessier, R., Muntean, A., Escobar, M. J., Santelices, M. P., Juffer, F., Van IJzendoorn, M. H. and Pierrehumbert, B. (2014). Another way of thinking about ADHD: the predictive role of early attachment deprivation in adolescents’ level of symptoms. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 49, 133144.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ross, E. J., Graham, D. L., Money, K. M. and Stanwood, G. D. (2015). Developmental consequences of fetal exposure to drugs: what we know and what we still must learn. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40, 6187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rutter, M., Beckett, C., Castle, J., Colvert, E., Kreppner, J., Mehta, M., Stevens, S. and Sonuga-Barke, E. (2007). Effects of profound early institutional deprivation: an overview of findings from a UK longitudinal study of Romanian adoptees. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 4, 332350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sander, L. (2007). Living Systems, Evolving Consciousness, and the Emerging Person: A Selection of Papers from the Life Work of Louis Sander. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Sapolsky, R. M. (2017). Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
Schwandt, H. and Wuppermann, A. (2016). The youngest get the pill: ADHD misdiagnosis in Germany, its regional correlates and international comparison. Labour Economics, 43, 7286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shepherd, D., Landon, J., Taylor, S. and Goedeke, S. (2018). Coping and care-related stress in parents of a child with autism spectrum disorderAnxiety, Stress, and Coping31, 277290.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Simonoff, E. Pickles, A., Wood, N., Gringras, P. and Chadwick, O. (2007). ADHD symptoms in children with mild intellectual disability. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 46, 591600.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Singh, I. (2012). VOICES: Voices on Identity, Childhood, Ethics and Stimulants – Children Join the Debate. Retrieved from (accessed 12 March 2021).Google Scholar
Storebø, O. J., Simonsen, E. and Gluud, C. (2016). Methylphenidate for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Journal of the American Medical Association, 315, 20092010.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Swanepoel, A. (2021). Fifteen-minute consultation: to prescribe or not to prescribe in ADHD, that is the question. Archives of Disease in Childhood – Education and Practice Edition, 106, 322325.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Swanepoel, A., Music, G., Launer, J. and Reiss, M. (2017). How evolutionary thinking can help us understand ADHD. BJPsych Advances, 23, 410418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swanepoel, A. Sieff, D. F., Music, G., Launer, J., Reiss, M. and Wren, B. (2016). How evolution can help us understand child development and behaviour. BJPsych Advances 22, 3643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tarren-Sweeney, M. (2010). It’s time to re-think mental health services for children in care, and those adopted from careClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry15, 613626.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Thapar, A. and Cooper, M. (2016). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Lancet 387, 12401250.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Thurm, A., Farmer, C., Salzman, E., Lord, C. and Bishop, S. (2019). State of the field: differentiating intellectual disability from autism spectrum disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry10, 526.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Timimi, S. and Taylor, E. (2004) ADHD is best understood as a cultural construct, British Journal of Psychiatry, 184, 89.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tronick, E. (2007). The Neurobehavioral and Social Emotional Development of Infants and Children. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
Tronick, E. Z. and Weinberg, M. K. (2000). Gender differences and their relation to maternal depression. In: Johnson, S. L., Hayes, A. M., Field, T., Schneiderman, M. N. and McCabe, P. M. (eds.), Stress, Coping, and Depression. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 2334.Google Scholar
van IJzendoorn, M. H. and Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (2015). Genetic differential susceptibility on trial: meta-analytic support from randomized controlled experiments. Development and Psychopathology, 27, 151162.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Verlinden, M., Jansen, P. W., Veenstra, R., Jaddoe, V. W., Hofman, A., Verhulst, F. C., Shaw, P. and Tiemeier, H. (2015). Preschool attention-deficit/hyperactivity and oppositional defiant problems as antecedents of school bullying. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54, 571579.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wanless, S. B., McClelland, M., Lan, X., Son, S., Cameron, C., Morrison, F., Chen, F., Chen, J., Li, S., Lee, K. and Sung, M. (2013). Gender differences in behavioral regulation in four societies: the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and China. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 621633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Washbrook, E., Propper, C. and Sayal, K. (2013). Pre-school hyperactivity/attention problems and educational outcomes in adolescence: prospective longitudinal study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 203, 265271.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wedge, M. (2012). Why French kids don’t have ADHD. Psychology Today, 8 March. Retrieved from (accessed 12 March 2021).Google Scholar
Wilson, D. S. and Sober, E. (1994) Reintroducing group selection to the human behavioral sciences. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 17, 585654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Windhorst, D. A., Mileva-Seitz, V. R., Linting, M., Hofman, A., Jaddoe, V. W., Verhulst, F. C., Tiemeier, H., van IJzendoorn, M. H. and Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (2015). Differential susceptibility in a developmental perspective: DRD4 and maternal sensitivity predicting externalizing behavior. Developmental Psychobiology, 57, 3549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats