, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 245-263

Maternal Emotions and Self-Efficacy Beliefs in Relation to Boys and Girls with AD/HD

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This study examined the impact of child gender on mothers’ emotional responses to AD/HD, self-efficacy beliefs and perceived severity of AD/HD. Mothers (N = 118) of pre-schoolers were presented with a vignette describing a typical boy or girl with AD/HD and then completed three scales relating to their emotional response to AD/HD behaviour, their sense of parenting efficacy and their attributions about the severity of problems described. AD/HD behaviour elicited negative emotions and maternal self-efficacy was low, especially for male AD/HD. Perceived severity of the behaviour was negatively correlated with maternal sense of self-efficacy. These findings suggest that mothers of “normal” children have fixed negative emotions and low sense of self-efficacy towards a child with AD/HD and that these factors are key elements for change in the implementation of a therapeutic programme.