Title page for ETD etd-10042005-160338

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Burke, Christine
URN etd-10042005-160338
Document Title The experiences of mothers whose children take Ritalin for the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
Degree MA (Counselling Psychology)
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof L Jacobs
  • mothers
  • Methylphenidate
  • children
  • disruptive behaviour
  • behavioural problems
  • impulsivity
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Ritalin
  • ADHD
Date 2004-11-17
Availability unrestricted
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become the disorder of the nineties. The name has been bandied about by experts, teachers, parents, lay people and specifically the media, however, when a child or children are diagnosed with this disorder, parents, and in particular for this study, mothers, are left feeling confused, frightened and uncertain. The method of treatment is the specific study of this research. Ritalin is the most popular form of treatment utilised for the alleviation of symptoms, yet mothers are afraid they are drugging their children or taking the easy way out. Constant media hype and ignorance exacerbate the motherís experiences and they are left in a quandary of which course to follow.

The purpose of this research was to investigate if mothers share similar experiences when administering Ritalin for the treatment of symptoms of ADHD. Literature indicates enormous controversy surrounding this disorder and in particular the treatment methods recommended to alleviate symptoms. There are two strongly opposed camps regarding the negativity or positivity toward utilising this schedule 7 drug. Media publicity intensifies the individualís uncertainty of administering this drug and suggests bad parenting as the reason mothers resort to Ritalin.

The goal of this study is to highlight the motherís experiences and to become aware of their feelings and isolation when being advised that their child or children have ADHD. The lack of awareness and the uncertainty of which course to follow seems to have profound affects and cause mothers to have negative experiences.

The purpose of this research is to see if mothers share similar experiences regarding the administering of Ritalin as a treatment method for ADHD. The researcher is hopeful that the outcome of this small study will assist experts, counselors and lay people to empathize and recognize the motherís plight in this regard, and consequently for them not to feel as troubled and unaided without this knowledge. Finally, she expects that the research may help mothers to be aware that they are not alone with their predicament and sense of apprehension and uncertainty regarding the administering of a drug like Ritalin to assist in alleviating the symptoms presented.

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