Fighting ADD with Media Literacy: Putting attention disorders into perspective and exploring the mainstream mass media’s role in their development

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Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Erin Szabo, Communication


This thesis argues that mainstream mass media and, especially, image-based electronic media significantly contribute to the development of Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD] and that prevention and treatment strategies should account for their influences. First, it provides background information on ADD and explains the importance of its study. Second, it dispels myths regarding the nature of ADD and provides evidence that experiential factors substantially contribute to its development. Third, it defines the mainstream mass media and image-based electronic media and supports a critical perspective of their effects on us individually and socially. Fourth, based on that critical perspective, it lays out several arguments for how these media can significantly factor into ADD development. Fifth, it exposes problems inherent to my assessment and proposes future research options. Sixth and finally, it makes recommendations on how ADD treatment and prevention should account for media influences.