Investigating familiarity with and attitudes to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

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McDonagh, David
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder however concerns exist about validly of the disorder. This mixed methods study investigated familiarity and attitudes to ADHD and perceived stigma and discrimination related to mental illness. Method: Participants responses were collected through a snowball and purposeful sample (n=201) using an online questionnaire. Parents experiences were collected through a semi-structured personal interviews (n=3). Results: No significant difference was found in perceived discrimination between those who know/don’t know someone with a mental illness (p = .938). Negative self-image was found to significantly predict disclosure concerns of ADHD (p < .001). Parents of ADHD affected children did not perceive any negative attitudes follow disclosure. Conclusions: Results did not support contact as a stigma reducing strategy. Help-seeking behaviour and disclosure to school, family and friends provide parents with a support network and explanation for their child’s impulsivity and hyperactive behaviour.