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Title: Perplexed parenting : fathers' experiences of having a son who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Author: Lynch, Leigh Anne
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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The aim of this study is to explore the particular experience of what it is like to be a father of a son with ADHD, from the first awareness of difficulties with their child to the present day. Eight fathers of boys with ADHD participated in interviews. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 1996). Six superordinate themes emerged from the analysis: ‘the search for answers’; ‘working with the diagnosis’; ‘perplexed parenting – parenting a son who has ADHD’; ‘the battle to balance family life’; heightened sense of parenting responsibility’ and ‘managing uncomfortable emotions’. Only one father instigated the diagnosis, the other fathers were not at the same stage as mothers in accepting that a medical investigation was warranted, which had implications for fathers’ adjustment to the diagnosis. Other implications include fathers’ attributions toward the diagnosis and their son’s behaviour. Parenting was a perplexing process and fathers typically described having difficulty adapting to the diagnosis. However, fathers demonstrated fighting hard to adjust to their child’s diagnosis and manage the family system within the context of the condition. Fathers reported being highly protective of their sons and were proactive in making positive changes for their child. Fathers managed their emotions through a number of strategies. It is recommended that services involved in the diagnosis and management of ADHD in children be mindful of the differing perspectives of mothers and fathers and seek to involve both parents to allow a smooth adjustment to the diagnosis for the family system. It is also recommended that services make available follow up behavioural training and parenting interventions for fathers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available