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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Acceptability of treatments for childhood ADHD : the influence of experience, treatment demands, and side effects Seipp, Carla Marguerite


Parental treatment preferences for children's mental health treatment have received the most attention using the construct of treatment acceptability. Research has reported that mothers generally endorse greater treatment acceptability for behavioral parent training (BPT) compared to stimulant medication for the treatment of symptoms of childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). My study investigated the influence of experience parenting a child with ADHD in moderating mothers' ratings of treatment acceptability for these two treatments. I also investigated the influence of communicating information regarding the demands of BPT and the probability of experiencing side effects of stimulant medication on mothers' acceptability ratings. To expand the measurement of treatment acceptability beyond the usual rating scale approach, I also used a measure of treatment preferences. Mothers reported which treatment (BPT vs. medication) they would recommend and why, if they were advising the parent of a child with ADHD. Participants included 71 mothers of boys with ADHD and a comparison group of 71 mothers of boys without behavioral problems. As predicted experience with ADHD moderated treatment acceptability. Mothers in the comparison group endorsed greater acceptability for BPT compared to medication; however, mothers in the ADHD group did not differ in ratings of acceptability for BPT and medication. In addition, mothers in the ADHD group endorsed greater treatment acceptability for stimulant medication compared to mothers in the comparison group. The two groups of mothers did not differ in their ratings of acceptability for BPT. This difference also emerged on the alternate measure of treatment acceptability. Mothers in the ADHD group were over six times more likely to report that they would recommend stimulant medication over BPT, compared to mothers in the comparison group. Although mothers identified treatment demands and risks as important contributors to their choice, varying the communication of this information did not influence ratings of treatment acceptability or treatment recommendation choice.

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