Raising an ADHD child: An examination of maternal well-being in Canada and the United States
Neff, Patricia Elizabeth
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Previous research indicates that mothers of ADHD children experience more emotional stress, anxiety and depression than mothers of non-ADHD children. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of having an ADHD child on maternal well-being, and to assess whether there are differences for Canadian and U.S. mothers. Although, several researchers have investigated the relationship between parenting stress and the occurrence of ADHD, few studies have examined the importance of social support as a coping mechanism used to ease the maternal burden associated with raising an ADHD child. This research is unlike related studies, in that it focuses on social support as an important contributing factor of maternal well-being. Comparable data from the 2001 U.S. National Health Interview Survey and the 2002 Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth is used to examine the manners by which mothers utilize their informal social support networks as a means of dealing with various stressors related to childrearing. Given the differences in health care in the two countries, cross-cultural comparisons between the United States and Canada may produce a greater understanding of how mothers are impacted by an ADHD child. The central aim of this research is to document similarities and difference, and to use such findings as evidence for more effective policies to better assist mothers of ADHD children.