ADHD study focuses on parental experiences

Date: 22/06/2009

A new University of Western Sydney study will help to increase the understanding of parents' views and experiences relating to Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Anthony Dillon, PhD candidate at the UWS Centre for Educational Research (CER), seeks the involvement of parents/guardians who have a child displaying ADHD-type behaviours, or have been diagnosed with ADHD, to participate in a short online survey.

"ADHD is one of the most controversial topics in childhood health, an important aim of this research is to recognise and document the diversity of views regarding the status of ADHD," says Mr Dillon.

"Some parents view ADHD as a medical condition, while others, though acknowledging the associated behaviours that define ADHD, view it as something other than a medical condition."

Although debate continues as to whether ADHD is a genuine medical disorder, the emphasis of this survey does not seek to prove or disprove it as a condition. Instead, Mr Dillon says it is important to recognise that each parent has a story to tell and the range of opinions and experiences of these parents should be explored.

"Given that an underlying cause for the observed ADHD-type behaviours has not been identified, it is likely that a multitude of factors converge to give rise to this modern phenomenon known as ADHD," he says.

"It is unreasonable to expect that doctors can be aware of all these factors. As parents are the ones who know their children the best, this study focuses on the thoughts of parents who have a child who has either been given the diagnosis of ADHD, or potentially qualifies for the diagnosis."

The study, funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) as an Indigenous Researcher Discovery Grant, will be an important piece of research to help concerned parents make the best decisions for their child based on individual circumstances, beliefs and needs.

The online survey takes approximately 15 - 20 minutes to complete, and can be located at: Participants can gain more information, or request a survey via mail, by calling Anthony Dillon on (02) 9772 6202 or email



Media Officer

Kristy Gleeson
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