ADHD and Rap Music

What effect, if any, do you think that baggy jeans, sloppy shirts and rap music have on the attitude of an adolescent with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

As the mother of a son who meets that criteria, I see a difference in the way he carries himself, walks and talks when he is in his baggy jeans. And I hate rap music, even the decent kind, so we go round and round about that.

Early on in his teenage years I tried to adopt the attitude that this too shall pass, and I let him wear the clothes and listen to selected rap music. Now I am removing the CDs with objectionable lyrics and hiding them. Also, because of some serious trouble he got into at school, I have taken his baggy jeans and put them away for an indefinite period of time. Am I going about this incorrectly?

The principal at his school would also like to know if there could be a direct correlation between clothing, music and a child's attitude.


Robert Schwebel

Clinical psychologist Robert Schwebel, PhD, has been in private practice for almost 30 years, counseling children, couples and... Read more

I cannot see exactly why baggy jeans, sloppy shirts and rap music would especially affect someone with ADHD. How would music and clothing affect attention or hyperactivity?

The problem with taking things away from teenagers is that it sometimes breeds more rebellion and more sneakiness. I would be more inclined to talk with an adolescent son about the serious trouble he got into at school. Be a problem-solving partner, and help him understand what he did wrong, why he misbehaved and how he can correct it. Try to influence your son to think more clearly and gain control over problem behavior.

Rather than take away CDs, I would discuss them and explain what you find objectionable and why. I would also insist that they not be played within my earshot. I think when you take away music, you actually make it more appealing.

-- Dr. Robert Schwebel

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