Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Walker, Kandi L.


Parents of children with disabilities; Communication in families; Attention-deficit-disordered children--Family relationships; Hyperactive children--Family relationships


The purpose of this study was to explore how mothers with an ADHD child living in the household perceive and manage family communication. In-depth interviews were conducted amongst nine married mothers who have an ADHD child. Three themes emerged from the interview data: relational management, time management, and internal and external support. Mothers communicate with their ADHD child differently than their non-ADHD children and must also manage communication about the ADHD diagnosis. Mothers are not always open about their child's ADHD with non-family members as they are afraid of the stigma that is attached to the condition. Mothers recognize that they spend considerable time on their child's ADHD issues and their time given to others in the family may be compromised. It is also necessary for mothers to receive emotional and pragmatic support from the family, friends, and professionals.