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Help-seeking for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): the role of causal attributions and knowledge in determining whether parents and teachers seek help for ADHD

By Johan Horton


Literature Review - Past surveys suggest that there is a low use of specialist services and an underdiagnosis of ADHD (Meltzer et al., 2000). Understanding the variables that facilitate or prevent help-seeking occurring is considered to be crucial. This review sets out to examine the role causal attributions play in determining whether parents and teachers seek help for a child displaying symptoms of ADHD. Attribution theory is applied to this area to present a conceptual model in attempt to understand the psychological factors influencing help-seeking for ADHD, highlighting the need future research.\ud Research Report - Objectives: To examine the role causal attributions and knowledge have in predicting whether parents and teacher seek help for the core symptoms of ADHD.\ud Method: The study recruited 131 participants, 63 parents and 69 teachers. Each completed a demographic questionnaire, the Knowledge of Attention Deficit Disorder (KADDS) and were presented with written descriptions of a child displaying inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive behaviours for which they rated on the causal dimensions of locus, controllability, globality and stability and the likelihood that they would seek help.\ud Results: Perceptions regarding the problematic nature of ADHD behaviours predicted whether parents and teachers sought help. Teachers were found to perceive hyperactive-impulsive behaviours as more problematic and in need of help, whilst parents perceived inattentive behaviours as more a problem and requiring of help. Causal attributions had a significant role in predicting help-seeking.\ud Conclusions: Identification of the role the perceptions and attributions parents and teachers hold towards the causes of ADHD have important clinical implications not only in the recognition of this disorder and subsequent decisions to seek help, but also for diagnosis and treatment of this condition.\ud Critical Appraisal - The appraisal details a personal account of the research, from the planning stages to implementation and writing up. An exploration of this journey and subsequent learning outcomes are discussed

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8241
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