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Exploring boys’ experiences of ADHD and good practice in mainstream secondary schools; a multi-informant study

Flack, Emma; (2018) Exploring boys’ experiences of ADHD and good practice in mainstream secondary schools; a multi-informant study. Doctoral thesis (D.Ed.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Despite ADHD being one of the most widely studied conditions, there is scarce literature on the views of young people with ADHD about their diagnosis, its impact and how they should be best supported. This research aims to: give young people with ADHD a voice in relation to their experience of ADHD and systems that impact on them; explore successful strategies and interventions from a range of perspectives; and test the use of tools aimed at helping vulnerable young people express their views. This research enlisted a critical realist position and a qualitatively-driven mixed-method research design. Twenty-three participants were interviewed: nine male pupils age 11-15, six SENCos, and eight parents. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were supplemented by participant characteristic data gathered through the Conners 3 self-report questionnaires. This research was conducted in a large town in the south of England, UK. The findings highlight the complexity of ADHD, heterogeneity of its symptoms and pros and cons of the impact of the label on young people and their families. Strategies and interventions were suggested as good practice but are not always ADHD-specific and are likely to benefit pupils with a range of SEN. A trial-and-error, tailored approach is needed to account for an individual’s strengths and difficulties. Teachers, TAs, SENCos, EPs and CAMHS all have an important role to play in helping young people with ADHD and their families. Local Authority support was found to be lacking in several areas. Tools to gain pupil views were used and described so they can be used by school staff or other professionals including EPs. A range of tools should be used and selected based on the young person’s strengths and needs. Appropriate support for pupils with ADHD is needed in schools to avoid negative life consequences frequently reported in adolescent and adult ADHD.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Ed.Psy
Title: Exploring boys’ experiences of ADHD and good practice in mainstream secondary schools; a multi-informant study
Event: UCL Institute of Education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: ADHD, child voice, adolescents, young people, SENCo, parent, views, secondary school, good practice.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10054183
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