Medicalization is the process by which some aspects of human life come to be considered as medical problems. The medicalization of certain children’s problems is of increasing concern to those in the field of social work. Dr. Marie-Christine Brault, Canada Research Chair in Childhood, Medicine and Society, is studying why and how institutions and the adults in children’s lives interact—among themselves and with children—to medicalize (or not) their behaviours, emotions, attitudes and experiences.
Brault and her research team are documenting the processes that lead to inequalities in medicalization for children. They are also examining opposition to medicalization by individuals, communities and institutions, and the reasons underlying this opposition. Lastly, they are studying how children may play an active role in the medicalization process.