Parenting a child with ADHD: Exploring the experiences of single mothers with ADHD

Cheesman, Jessica Elizabeth (2019-04)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental, neurobiological condition of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Recent studies and a new understanding of ADHD reveal that many individuals continue to experience ADHD symptoms throughout adolescence and into adulthood. ADHD results in functional impairment in various areas of an individual’s life and may result in disturbances to the family and work contexts, affect marital relationships and result in a tense parent-child relationship. This study, which explored the experiences of single mothers with ADHD who are raising children with ADHD was exploratory and qualitative in nature. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven single mothers of children with ADHD and thematically analysed. Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory of human development was identified as an appropriate framework to interpret the findings due to the biological and interpersonal complexities associated with an ADHD diagnosis across the lifespan. Thematic analysis revealed that these mothers face many challenges in their daily life related to their diagnosis, marital status and the stigma associated with adult ADHD and raising a child with ADHD. These challenges were identified as negatively affecting their work-related responsibilities, financial management, diagnoses, emotional and mental wellbeing and maintaining new relationships. Despite the multitude of challenges the participants faced daily, they identified several strategies that were employed to maintain their wellbeing, support their children’s development and manage daily tasks. Such strategies focused on structured parenting and nurturing their children’s independence. The findings also indicated that single mothers with ADHD who are raising children with ADHD experience stigma in various areas of their lives. The mother-child relationship was identified as being based on mutual empathy and understanding despite challenges related to their diagnosis. The results of this study highlight the need for mental health and medical professionals to contribute to designing and implementing interventions for similar family systems, which are currently widely unacknowledged and who perceive an immense lack of support across all their systems.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Aandagtekort/hiperaktiwiteitsversteuring (ATHV) is ’n ontwikkelings-, neurobiologiese toestand van onoplettendheid, hiperaktiwiteit en impulsiwiteit. Onlangse studies en ’n nuwe begrip van ATHV het onthul dat baie individue steeds ATHV-simptome ervaar, deur adolessensie tot en met volwassenheid. ATHV het funksionele gebrekkigheid tot gevolg in verskillende areas van ’n individu se lewe en kan die familie- en werksomgewings ontwrig, met ’n impak op getroude pare se verhoudings en tot ’n spanningsvolle ouer-kind verhouding lei. Hierdie studie het ten doel gehad om die ervarings te ondersoek van enkel-moeders met ATHV, wat ook kinders met ATHV het. Die studie was ondersoekend en kwalitatief van aard. Semigestruktureerde onderhoude is gevoer met sewe enkel-moeders van kinders met ATHV en tematies geanaliseer. Bronfenbrenner se bio-ekologiese teorie van menslike ontwikkeling is as die gepaste raamwerk geïdentifiseer om die bevindings te interpreteer, weens die biologiese en interpersoonlike kompleksiteite wat oor ’n leeftyd met ’n ATHV-diagnose gepaard gaan. Tematiese analise het aangedui dat hierdie moeders daagliks talle uitdagings beleef wat verband hou met hul diagnose, huwelikstatus en die stigma verbonde aan volwasse ATHV en die grootmaak van ’n kind met ATHV. Die uitdagings wat geïdentifiseer is, was ’n negatiewe uitwerking op hul werksverwante verantwoordelikhede, die bestuur van hul finansies, die bepaal van diagnoses, emosionele en sielkundige welstand en om nuwe verhoudings te kan handhaaf. Ondanks die menigte uitdagings wat die deelnemende partye daagliks moes hanteer, het hulle talle strategieë geïdentifiseer wat toegepas word om hul welstand te handhaaf, en om te help met hul kinders se ontwikkeling asook om dagtake te bestuur. Hierdie strategieë fokus op gestruktureerde ouerskap en om die kinders se onafhanklikheid te koester. Die bevindings dui ook aan dat enkel-moeders met ATHV wat ook kinders met ATHV het, gestigmatiseer voel in verskeie areas van hul lewens. Die moeder-en-kind-verhouding is geïdentifiseer as iets wat op gemeenskaplike empatie gebaseer is, met baie begrip ondanks al die uitdagings wat hul diagnose meebring. Die bevindings van hierdie studie benadruk die behoefte aan geestesgesondheids- en mediese praktisyns wat kan bydra tot die ontwikkeling en toepassing van intervensies vir soortgelyke familiestrukture wat tans bykans geen erkenning kry nie en waar daar ’n geweldige tekort aan ondersteuning vanoor al hul strukture blyk te wees.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106049
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