Adult attachment and relationship quality in parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
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AbstractThis study aimed to explore the influence of adult attachment on relationship quality in parents of children with ADHD. A mixed methods design was used to address the research objectives. Study One (quantitative) explored the different pressures that having a child with ADHD places on parents with different attachment styles, and how the parents differ in their way of responding to such pressures based on their attachment styles. Two hundred and fifty four participants were employed: 101 parents of children with ADHD, and 153 parents of children without ADHD. Four established questionnaires were used: Connors Parental rating Scale (CPRS), Communication Pattern Questionnaire (CPQ), Experience in Close Relationship (ECR), and Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS). The results showed that parents of children with ADHD reported greater marital conflict and worse dyadic adjustment than parents of children without ADHD. Moreover, behavioural problems in children with ADHD correlated negatively with interpersonal relationship in the parental couple. Finally, attachment style moderated the impact of ADHD symptoms on interpersonal problems in the couple. On the other hand, Study Two (qualitative) explored parents’ experiences of how the disorganised behaviour of children with ADHD or the normal naughtiness of children without ADHD had an impact on the relationship. The differences between parents with children with and without ADHD with regard to their attachment styles were also studied. Forty eight participants extracted from the Study One were participated in this Study Two. The results through the thematic analyses indicated that parents of children with ADHD experienced the stress related to their children’s condition which was negatively affected their couple relationship. Not only that, the parents with different attachment styles experienced differently in both group. In considering both studies, the qualitative themes may explain how attachment insecurity moderates the impact of having a child with ADHD on relationship variables. The theme may be particularly important, as it may have a negative influence on the interpersonal communication of the parents with insecurity attachment. It is proposed that this research can make a contribution towards relevant intervention programs to facilitate support for parents of children with ADHD.
CitationYahya, F. (2012) 'Adult attachment and relationship quality in parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder'. PhD Thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Of the University of Bedfordshire
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