Evid Based Nurs 2:60 doi:10.1136/ebn.2.2.60
  • Qualitative

Learning how to live with a child with ADHD was a long and arduous process

 Question How do families with children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manage the ongoing and persistent difficulties caused by their children's ADHD symptoms?


Grounded theory.




15 families (14 white) with ≥1 child with ADHD between the ages of 6 and 18 years. The ADHD child and ≥1 parent had to be willing to participate. 15 mothers, 10 fathers, 20 children with ADHD (mean age 11 y, 16 boys), and 14 siblings without ADHD (mean age 11 y, 8 boys) were interviewed. 5 families had a single mother, 7 had both biological parents living at home, and 3 had a biological mother and a stepfather.


109 individual and family open ended interviews, each lasting 30–90 minutes, were done in the home. Each person was asked to describe what it was like to live with ADHD or with an ADHD family member and how their family functioned. Second individual and family interviews were done 8–12 weeks later.

Main findings

Outlasting disruption was the core variable. Family life was described …

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