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Cultural variations in mothers’ attributions : influence of child attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Mah, Janet W. T.

Abstract

The attributions made by Chinese immigrant and Euro-Canadian mothers regarding the causes of child prosocial and problem behaviors exhibited by children with and without Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were investigated. The attributions of 51 mothers of 5-to 9-year-old boys were elicited using audio-taped scenarios of child behavior. In one-half of the scenarios, the child was described as having ADHD. Overall, mothers attributed less responsibility to the child for problem behaviors when the child was described as having an ADHD diagnosis than when the child was described as not having any behavior disorders. Furthermore, in comparison to Euro-Canadian mothers, Chinese immigrant mothers saw the child as less responsible for prosocial behavior. In general, mothers attributed the child’s prosocial behaviors more than problem behaviors to parental factors, and also attributed the behavior of children who were described as not having any behavior disorders more to parental factors compared to the behavior of children labeled with ADHD. Findings from this study have implications for gaining a better understanding of the cultural uniqueness and similarities of maternal attitudes regarding ADHD.

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