PRESENTATION OF THE PROBLEM
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, is one of the most common childhood psychiatric disorders with a prevalence rate of 3 to 5 percent of school-aged children (Worley & Wolraich 2005, p. 1571). The ADHD society of the Philippines, a young and dynamic organization committed to create a loving, understanding and supportive environment for children, adolescents and adults with this disorder has been vigorously pursuing a nationwide awareness campaign on the disorder since its formal organization in 2001. According to their 2006 study, ADHD is said to have 4 percent incidence (more than 3 million) in the total Philippine population (ADHD Society of the Philippines, 2006).
Children with ADHD have boundless energy; they exhibit excessive levels of activity such as restlessness, and fidgeting. They have been described as “perpetual motion machines”- continuously running, jumping, wiggling, or squirming. They experience a greater than average number of accidents, from minor mishaps to more serious incidents that may lead to physical injury or destruction of property. The etiology of ADHD is unknown, but studies have suggested an interaction among psychosocial and biologic factors. The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- IV Text Revision (DSM-IV TR) is a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. ADHD refers its diagnosis to this tool having met at least six of the criteria under inattention (poorly sustained attention or persistence of effort or task), impulsivity (the inability to stop and think before acting), or hyperactivity (the display of excessive movement not required to complete a task (Townsend, 2008).
Handling ADHD children requires a great amount of patience and dedication considering the characteristics of the disorder. Parents would often label the child to be “out of control” and have difficulties in dealing with these behaviors. Parents may report largely unsuccessful attempts to discipline and/or control their child (Videbeck, 2008). Having a child with ADHD affects the functioning of the family, contributing increasing stress levels to its primary caregivers. Researches support the idea that the behavior of the child with ADHD can result to increasing parenting stress (Baker, 1994; Harpin, 2004; Strahm, 2008). Research with families with children who have this disorder indicates that these parents report high levels of stress and are more commanding and negative in their parenting style than parents of children without ADHD. Parents of these children tend to report more marital problems, higher rates of psychiatric illness, and lower self-esteem than parents of children without ADHD (Ryan & McDougall, 2009).
Some researches focus on maternal parenting since mothers are primarily the ones giving direct care to these children and, thus, are also the ones who get more affected by the parenting stress. A research on mothers having children with the disorder revealed parenting to be stressful and demanding (Peters & Jackson, 2008). Wallace (2005) study on the perception of mothers having sons with ADHD resulted to extreme difficulties, as well as, their untiring efforts to help their child be accepted in their social and educational community.
In view of the difficulties experienced by mothers involved with these children, it is clear that there is a need for more researches to be conducted. This study on the phenomenological approach had enable the researchers to explore the total feelings and experiences of mothers with ADHD children and retrieve significant information on pressing concerns inherent to the individuals. The results of the study will help increase the awareness of the society and the government on the situation’s need for support, not just to the child itself but...