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Title: Young people's experiences of ADHD and social support in the family context : An interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Grant, Tracey N.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 0006
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
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This study examined the experience of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a significant topic for research as it is one of the most common and highly contested psychiatric diagnoses given to children. There are debates about the aetiology and validity of ADHD, nevertheless family factors are widely considered to be significant to outcomes for children and young people given this diagnosis. However, insufficient attention has been paid to understanding young people's lived experience in the family. The aims of this study were to explore and articulate how young people, aged between eleven and eighteen, experience living with a diagnosis of ADHD within the context of their families. Particular attention was paid to the young people's experiences and perceptions of the support they receive. The study employed a qualitative methodology. Semi- structured interviews were conducted with seven boys and one girl. The data from the interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four super ordinate themes were generated from the analysis: 'The importance of belonging', 'Is there more to me than my ADHD? ', 'Creating calm from chaos' and Trying to make sense of ADHD'. The participants faced challenges in maintaining accepting relationships, managing their emotions, understanding the nature of their difficulties and developing a coherent personal identity. The participants valued a range of support: practical, emotional, informational and affirmational in facing these challenges. The findings are discussed in relation to the literature on the lived experience of ADHD and social support. Consideration was given to the implications for future research and clinical practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available