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Coping processes of fathers with an ADHD diagnosed son : a grounded theory approach Saidi, Massoud

Abstract

Children diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms have a condition that adversely affects their attention, impulse control, and activity. The behaviour of these children, such as difficulty in complying with parental instructions, behaving impulsively, frequently interrupting and not staying on task, as well as having conflicts with siblings may be frustrating and demanding for parents. Research on their parents has mainly focused on maternal stresses, examined from a stimulus-response perspective. Little, if any, consideration has been given to the ecological validity of the research and to father's parenting experiences. The present study explored the coping processes of eight fathers who have a son diagnosed with ADHD behaviour. Each father was interviewed for one hour to one hour and a half in a semi- structured format. Multiple demands on these fathers and their coping strategies and outcomes were identified using the constant comparison method (drawn from grounded theory). A range of coping strategies including exercise and relaxation, taking time-outs, administering their son's medication, seeking professional help, learning about ADHD, and thinking positively were identified. Five themes were developed, and were: (a) what it was like before diagnosis, (b) reactions to son's diagnosis, (c) types of demands, (d) types of responses to demands, and (e) outcomes. Findings support the iterative view of stress an coping process.

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