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Arcella Trimble


Parents’ perspectives about children’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing their children’s ADHD. While research existed on mothers’ perspectives of ADHD treatment, there was little research on the perspectives of African American fathers about their sons’ ADHD. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore African Americans fathers’ perspectives of their sons’ diagnosis and treatment for ADHD. Family systems theory served as the conceptual framework. The research question was designed to explore African American fathers' perspectives and lived experience related to their sons' diagnosis of and treatment for ADHD. Ten biological fathers were recruited for phone interviews. Data were then coded and analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis. Nine themes emerged: (a) sought advice; (b) dismissal of symptoms initially; (c) feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness; (d) resources available to me; (e) frustration, shock, and disbelief; (f) my role as a parent; (g) want what is best for my child; (h) successes of treatment plan; and (i) beliefs on medication versus alternative therapies. African American fathers also held beliefs similar to Caucasian fathers found in previous research and initially explained their sons’ behavior with a boys will be boys rationale. Further research is recommended on fathers' perspectives of their children’s diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within other racial populations. Practical implications include clinicians understanding the role of African American fathers in the treatment of their children diagnosed with ADHD. Social change implications include facilitating culturally sensitive treatment options for African American boys diagnosed with ADHD.

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