Theses Doctoral

Perceptions of ADHD Among African American Parents and Caregivers of Boys 5-14 Years Old

Evans, Adrienne J.

The purpose of this study was to assess African American parents’ and caregivers’ perceptions about ADHD, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes to determine if and/or how those views may affect diagnosis and treatment rates among African American youth. ADHD prevalence is increasing overall in the US across all races/ethnicities, but ADHD diagnosis and treatment rates are still low among African American youth compared to White youth. While African American youth may be more greatly affected by the disorder than White youth, there is a gap in understanding why some parents seek help for their child’s ADHD related behaviors, while others do not. African American parents and primary caregivers of boys ages 5-14 who attended an afterschool program in Harlem, New York City, participated in a cross-sectional design interview study with 43 participants. Transcripts were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using an inductive approach. Highlights of findings included parents’ and caregivers’ discomfort using medication to treat ADHD, concerns about labeling/stigma and misconceptions about ADHD, diagnosis, and treatment. Implications for practice included the need for: disseminating accurate and relevant information, improving understanding about proven and promising non-pharmacological treatment methods and addressing discriminatory practices in ADHD treatment. Recommendations for research include creating and evaluating culturally sensitive treatment approaches, exploring why certain families are misinformed about ADHD, finding effective ways to correct misconceptions, and testing alternative ways to educate healthcare and education professionals on how best to work with African American and other underserved communities.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Basch, Charles E.
Yorks, Lyle
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
March 1, 2019