Date of Conferral







Alethea Baker


According to recent studies, there is an interethnic research gap that exists regarding Portuguese-American parents' knowledge of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this study was to explore Portuguese-American parents' knowledge of the symptoms and diagnosis of ADHD, how they think it impacts their children's education, learning, behaviors, and what interventions they use to address the behavioral issues and learning disabilities that result from ADHD. Guided by family systems theory, with the premise that children are an integral part of the family and cannot be understood in isolation from the family, this qualitative, phenomenological study used semi-structured interviews to gather visual and verbal data to understand Portuguese-American parents' knowledge, perception, attitude, and awareness of ADHD. Inductive analysis allowed for identification of themes and categories of transcribed data and field notes until saturation was reached. Multiple recurring themes found in this study indicated (a) lack of knowledge of ADHD, (b) lack of information provided by professionals, (c) opportunity to be educated about this neurodevelopmental mental health disorder, and (d) lack of the appropriate resources for these parents to get the necessary help needed to cope with their children's symptoms and diagnosis of ADHD. The results could bring about positive social change for this underserved ethnic minority group of people on how to deal and understand their children's learning and behaviors related to ADHD.