Parenting experiences of raising a child with Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder: A pilot study from India

  • Ruchita Shah
  • Akhilesh Sharma
  • Nidhi Chauhan
  • Sandeep Grover


Background: Qualitative research that explores parenting experiences while raising a child with ADHD can help in developing and implementing interventions that are meaningful to the families. Contextual factors may influence the parenting experiences to a great extent, and hence, it is important to understand these experiences in our unique cultural context.

Objectives: This pilot qualitative study aimed to understand the experiences of Indian parents within the family, community and their interactions with the school while raising children with ADHD by applying thematic analysis.

Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 consenting parents (8 mothers and 7 fathers) of 12 children. Open-ended questions explored how the child's symptoms had affected them in different domains of life, namely, family life, social and community life and interaction with the school.

Results: Six themes were identified; Burden of care, Emotional burden with a ray of hope, Assigning responsibility, Stigma and discrimination, Parent in charge of the situation, and Family support systems. Despite being largely similar to existing literature, there were three important differences that can be understood in our context. First, there was a difference in the themes per se, in that family support systems emerged as an important theme; second, in the way the themes were experienced, for example, stigma was expressed as feelings of shame and embarrassment more often than discrimination and third in the context of experiences such as stigma and blame.

Conclusions: Findings may be helpful to mental health professionals for culturally therapeutic engagement and interventions for these families.

Original Articles