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A phenomenological study to explore the social and emotional impact of having a sibling with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Broadhurst, Charlotte (2018) A phenomenological study to explore the social and emotional impact of having a sibling with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood disorder, affecting 2-4% of the school-age population in the UK. Various studies have explored the impact of ADHD on the family environment and dynamic. Research to date has examined the parental experience of having a child with ADHD, with parents experiencing great amounts of stress and often focusing their efforts primarily on the child with ADHD more than their other children. Therefore, it is relevant to investigate how the disorder affects other family members, specifically siblings. The main purpose of the current study is to explore the experiences surrounding having a sibling with ADHD using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and to add to the marginal amount of literature exploring siblings’ accounts. Semi-structured interviewing was used to generate data from 3 female students (n=3) from Manchester Metropolitan University who have a sibling with ADHD. Analysis of interviews with participants gave rise to three emergent themes: the retrospective view of the diagnosis of ADHD, alongside understanding changes in feelings, intersubjectivity and protecting the vulnerable sibling, and spatiality and living with ADHD. Overall positive experiences were presented by the siblings of children with ADHD, and despite feeling that they were difficult to live with, participants felt an innate response to protect their vulnerable sibling.

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