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Melody Richardson Moore


Despite evidence demonstrating the positive impact of parental involvement in children's education, youth transitioning from elementary school to middle school are often extended a greater level of autonomy. Parental involvement may decrease, which may pose particular challenges to students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The theoretical framework for this study was Bandura's self-efficacy theory which involves positive self-esteem, coping strength, and persistence toward goals. Bandura's ideas help to clarify why self-efficacy plays a role in parental involvement decisions. Through a multiple case study method, seven parents of middle school youth with ADHD, were interviewed through four open ended questions about self-efficacy as it relates to their decision to assist their youth with homework completion. Data were organized by question and the interview responses were manually analyzed. The coding process included identifying commonalities and differences, analyzing content, and synthesizing and validating themes regarding parental self-efficacy and decision-making experiences. Findings revealed that for parents, frustration with the lack of school communication and homework overload were significant concerns, and although efficacy played a role in the decision to assist with homework, the primary impetus was the desire to save their youth from emotional turmoil and academic failure. Implications for positive social change include the need for proactive communication and collaboration by schools with parents and more middle school programs to support youth with ADHD. Including parents as partners in youth education may ease the difficulty of transition to middle school and help reduce school failure and dropout rates among youth with ADHD.

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