Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication


Journalism and Mass Communication

First Advisor

Michael Dahlstrom


This study explores how Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) advertisements promote medication for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and how they may have changed over time relative to changes in diagnostic criteria for the disease and/or federal regulations for DTC advertising. All relevant advertisements published in Parents magazine between 1977 and 2018 were collected and analyzed. This study found that the most often used points of view were eye-level and frontal and the most used degrees of social distance were far personal and close personal. The most used demographics of the actors were male Caucasian children and female Caucasian adults. At least two-thirds of the advertisements included the required product information. The major themes that appeared throughout the entire sample include: (a) solving the individual’s problems at school, work and home; (b) increased social abilities and acceptance; (c) parental peace of mind, relief and pride in their child and (d) support for parents who are waging a battle with ADHD. No noticeable changes were observed over time relative to the DSM and CFR.

Copyright Owner

Saige Amelia Heyer



File Format


File Size

48 pages