Current Psychiatry Reports

, 15:385 | Cite as

Globalization and Cognitive Enhancement: Emerging Social and Ethical Challenges for ADHD Clinicians

  • Ilina Singh
  • Angela M. Filipe
  • Imre Bard
  • Meredith Bergey
  • Lauren Baker
Attention-Deficit Disorder (R Bussing, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Attention-Deficit Disorder


Globalization of ADHD and the rise of cognitive enhancement have raised fresh concerns about the validity of ADHD diagnosis and the ethics of stimulant drug treatment. We review the literature on these two emerging phenomena, with a focus on the corresponding social, scientific and ethical debates over the universality of ADHD and the use of stimulant drug treatments in a global population of children and adolescents. Drawing on this literature, we reflect on the importance of ethically informed, ecologically sensitive clinical practices in relation to ADHD diagnosis and treatment.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD Stimulants Ritalin Adderall Globalization Diagnosis Treatment Medicalization Prevalence Global mental health Cognitive enhancement Culture Ecology Hyperactivity International Addiction Diversion Diagnostic criteria Clinical practice Ethics Psychiatry 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Ilina Singh, Angela M. Filipe, Imre Bard, Meredith Bergey, and Lauren Baker declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Recently published papers of particular interest have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilina Singh
    • 1
  • Angela M. Filipe
    • 1
  • Imre Bard
    • 2
  • Meredith Bergey
    • 3
  • Lauren Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Science, Health & MedicineKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Methodology DepartmentLondon School of Economics & Political ScienceLondonUK
  3. 3.Sociology DepartmentBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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