Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder-Diagnosis, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder-Treatment, Parents of attention-deficit disordered children-Attitudes, Caregivers-Attitudes, Qualitative research, African American parents-Attitudes, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, African American caregivers


According to the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 5th edition, attention-deficit disorder is a childhood disorder in which symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity are present for at least six months and must be present prior to a child turning12 years old (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Gapin and Etnier (2013) stated the following, ADHD "is one of the leading childhood psychiatric disorders in America and is a costly major public health problem" (p. 1). There is limited research on African American caregiver experiences (Miller, Nigg and Miller, 2009) and social workers would benefit by being familiar with African American caregiver experiences. My research attempted to understand African American caregiver's experiences' with diagnosis, treatment and management of their children's ADHD symptoms. The voices of twelve African American caregivers were captured through an online survey utilizing qualitative analysis. The survey focused specifically on their experiences with their children's attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The findings suggest that African American caregivers are advocates for their children, want to be acknowledged and invited in the process of diagnosis. In addition, they have different management strategies to help their children with their impulsivity, impatience and excess energy such as reading, making lists, and limiting television usage. Finally, the findings revealed the progress the children have made (i.e., being patient and self-advocates) and the caregiver's undeniable love for their children.




iii, 67 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 48-52)