Examination of the utility of respite services on stress reduction for parents of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Wright, Kristi D.
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Research suggests that parents of children with mental health disorders have higher incidences of stress, physical illnesses, mental illnesses, and substance use. Of particular salience to the current project are the needs of parents of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More frequent and intense parent-child relational disruptions are observed within families with children with ADHD than families without children with diagnosed disorders. Respite care is one of the community services that may maintain and enhance the functioning of families of children and youth with mental health disorders. The current project was designed to provide parents with indirect respite by offering a structured athletic activity for a group of 10-12 children (ages 7-12) with ADHD twice per week for 13 weeks. Parent/child demographics, levels of parental perceived stress, and child psychopathology were measured at baseline and at completion of program. Individual positive and negative targeted behaviours were recorded during each session. It is anticipated that participation in this program will result in (1) decreased levels of parental perceived stress; (2) decreased levels of child psychopathology; (3) decreased frequency of targeted negative child behaviours; and (4) increased frequency of targeted positive child behaviours. A recreational respite program was designed for a group of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is anticipated that participation in this program will reduce levels of parental stress, as well as decrease levels of child psychopathology.