Locus of control in children with AD/HD : the role of parent attributions
The present research examines three central issues in the context of ADIHD. First, a
theory of attribution proposing that parents' causal attributions affect ADIHD children's locus
of control is assessed. Second, ADIHD children's locus of control is linked to their
psychological profiles. Finally, ADIHD is looked at from a cross-cultural perspective norms,
highlighting the significance of parents' knowledge versus ignorance of the disorder.
The main population of interest consists of unmedicated and untreated ADIHD children
in Greece whose parents had no prior knowledge of the disorder. Initially, the impact of Greek
parents' causal attributions about their ADIHD children's academic performance and behaviour
on those children's locus of control is examined. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the
attributions made by parents were found to be associated with specific patterns of locus of
control beliefs in their children. In-depth measures of the children's psychological profiles were
found to be associated with their locus of control, and a detailed discussion compares these
results with other research findings linking internalising and extemalising behaviours with
biases in locus of control and attributional style.
Then the possible implications of knowledge and socio-cultural beliefs are discussed in
relation to the findings on two socio-culturally different populations - Greek and British ADIHD
children's locus of control.
Finally in an attempt to compare attributional differences, the role of locus of control is
examined in an experimental test of task persistence and children's self-evaluations before and
after a failure experience. It is concluded that socio-cultural norms influence the ways in which
parents formulate causal explanations for their children's behaviour, which, in turn, influence
the locus of control, the psychological profiles, the task persistence, and the self-evaluations of