The purpose of this study was to explore how mothers with an ADHD child living in the household experience, perceive, and manage family communication.
A qualitative research design study was employed where in-depth interviews were conducted amongst nine married mothers who have an ADHD child.
Three themes emerged from the interview data: managing internal relations, managing stigma, and difficulties in managing the communication process. Mothers communicate with their ADHD child differently than their non-ADHD children, as conversations with the ADHD child are often unpredictable, negative, and erratic. They specifically experience these conversation patterns when giving directions, during times of discipline, and when the child acts impulsively or cannot focus.
Mothers are not always open about their child’s ADHD with nonfamily members as they are afraid of the stigma that is attached to the condition. Mothers recognize the difficulties in the communication process as they spend a considerable amount of time on their child’s ADHD issues, and their time given to others in the family may be compromised. They also recognize that because of the amount of stress and emotional burnout they feel from having an ADHD child, they need emotional and pragmatic support from family, friends, and professionals. The mothers who receive the least amount of emotional support from their spouses also feel the highest amounts of stress.
Hoag, A. (2014), "Mothers’ Perceptions of Family Communication Patterns when Having an ADHD Child", Family Relationships and Familial Responses to Health Issues (Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, Vol. 8A), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 211-246. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1530-35352014000008A007
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