Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Attention-deficity hyperactivity disorder-Treatment, Attention-deficit disordered children-Drug use., Attention-deficit disorder in adolescence-Treatment, Attention-deficit disordered youth-Drug use, Parents of attention-deficit disordered children-Decision-making, Psychotropic drugs, ADHD, Parents/guardians, Medication, Decision making


This project was undertaken to obtain a better understanding of how parents/guardians reach the decision whether or not to medicate their child diagnosed with Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There has been a great deal of research done on ADHD that deals with aspects such as treatment interventions, side effects of psychotropic medication, and comparing behavioral to medicinal treatment; however, little research has been done examining how these treatment interventions are arrived upon for these children. This study attempted to offer data to identify what parents/guardians feel work and does not work while leaving the door open for further research in this area. A total of 26 anonymous parents/guardians who had a child diagnosed with ADHD were the participants in this study a flexible methods design with open ended questions. Each participant answered an anonymous survey online and was asked the same 12 questions. The instrument used in this study was a qualitative questionnaire that explored how parents/guardians navigated through their decision making process on whether to or not to medicate their child with ADHD. This study implies a need for more research as participation was limited. The findings do show some emerging themes that would be beneficial to examine further. ADHD is a growing epidemic in the United States and understanding how one takes their first steps when treating their child should be seen as a vital factor in ongoing research.




iv, 42 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 29-32)