What Are the Causes of Hyperactivity?

Nature gives every man a face of his own. Edward G. Robinson.

Researchers are still struggling with the question of why some children are hyperactive. Although several theories have emerged, none is beyond a shadow of a doubt. I have divided the most popular theories into two broad categories, internal and external. The internal causes are conditions which hyperactive children are born with. These hold the most promise for explaining the true hyperactive child. External causes are those acting upon children after they are born. These seem to explain the situational hyperactive child, who adopts hyperactive behaviors in response to people or situations in his environment.

This internal/external distinction is significant because it influences what treatment approach is recommended. Full-time hyperactive children are more likely to receive medication, whereas situational hyperactive children tend to get nonmedical forms of therapy, behavior modification or counseling for instance.