Title page for ETD etd-09272010-181357

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Tom, Cynthia Lindiwe
Email umthombopl@mweb.co.za
URN etd-09272010-181357
Document Title Raising a child with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder : exploring the experience of black parents
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Mr J P Venter Supervisor
  • parents
  • descriptive phenomenology
  • black parents
  • experience
Date 2010-09-03
Availability unrestricted

Improvements in diagnostic measures over the years have resulted in more accurate diagnosis of ADHD. Whilst many studies have focused on ADHD as a disorder, few studies have looked at the experience of raising a child with ADHD. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of Black parents raising children with ADHD. The sample consisted of five Black parents who live the experience of raising children, between the ages of six and twelve years, with ADHD. An interview schedule with semi-structured open-ended questions was used. The study followed a qualitative research design with descriptive phenomenology as the worldview.

The themes that emerged from the data were around the experience of their child, the experience of ADHD and the experience of self. Black parents experienced their children’s behaviour as hyperactive and uncontrollable. They also believed their children were socially withdrawn and isolated. Problems with inattention, not listening and being unable to concentrate were highlighted as experienced at school and at home. Black parents also stated that their children were clever and popular at school and at home, but had problems with speech. However, most were hopeful for their children’s future.

Black parents raising children with ADHD had a reasonable understanding of ADHD as a disorder, even though the results of the study suggest that ADHD is still misunderstood in the Black population. Black parents experienced others as insensitive and blaming. The support from professionals was experienced as not satisfactory and there were concerns about the medication. Black parents experienced their style of parenting as harsh but accommodating. They experienced guilt and shame, blaming themselves for their children’s condition. They also felt trapped, frustrated, alone, lonely, helpless, in despair and even depressed at times. However they viewed themselves as generally coping well. Core values such as respect for others, discipline and boundaries have remained in how they parent.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Tom, CL 2010, Raising a child with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder : exploring the experience of black parents, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09272010-181357/ >


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