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Title: Growing up, moving on and finding ways to cope : exploring multiple stories of adolescents diagnosed with ADHD
Author: O'Leary, Joanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 1762
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2007
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This study explores experiences of adolescents diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and considers their perceptions of change and continuity since diagnosis, and the impact of adolescence on ADHD. It further reflects the way they talk about and cope with their experiences, including their experience of being diagnosed with ADHD. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with eight adolescents between the ages of fifteen and seventeen. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to develop six themes from the interview data. The analysis revealed that the way the adolescents spoke about themselves tended to be linked to what other people thought of them, and how other people behaved towards them ('What others think of me and what I think of myself). They talked about 'the ADHD' in terms of emotions ('Emotions are everywhere') and in terms of needing to keep their mind and body active ('I need to be active). Whether they rejected or accepted the diagnosis, they were uncertain about what it meant for them. However, most felt that the diagnosis was not enough to account for their experiences and they also spoke of their experiences outside of any concept of ADHD ('Dismissive of Diagnosis'). When they did talk about coping, it was in terms of keeping things under control ('How do I keep things under control? '). Finally, they identified certain events or triggers ('Turning points') that had changed, or that they expected would change, their experiences of 'the ADHD' (in both positive and negative ways). The findings are discussed in terms of shifts in the adolescents' attributions and motivation, and the possibility for developmental change. Suggestions are made for working holistically with children and adolescents with ADHD, empowering them and engaging in prevention, early intervention and outreach work. The role of health promotion and multi-agency working is discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available