Date of Conferral







Georgita Frierson


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a serious mental health condition that affects many of children. Studies show that 42-77% of children with ADHD may not be receiving treatment. Factors such as parent ethnicity, race, preference for treatment, socioeconomics, and child gender have been studied but do not account for the high numbers of untreated children. Differences between parents has been shown to effect ADHD treatment, the potential effects of family dynamics, children living in single or dual parent families, on ADHD treatment has not been studied. This secondary analysis finds there is a relationship between family dynamics, with the onset and duration of ADHD treatment. Family dynamics, parent gender, and parent race were found to have significant effect on ADHD treatment, especially date of first treatment. Child age, gender, and race also had significant effect on ADHD treatment times. Bowen’s family systems theory views the family as an interdependent system with components explaining how stressors affect family functioning. Family stress as well as parental differences regarding ADHD and mental health treatment are unique stressors that would affect children in a dual parent family differently than children in a single parent family. In this study, parent gender and parent race had a significant effect on treatment times for children with ADHD. Implications for social change include increased understanding of barriers to ADHD treatment, stressing the importance of intentional inclusion of fathers in ADHD research, and highlighting the need for more specific research on parent gender, race, and family dynamics.