Ethnic differences in parental beliefs of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and treatment

Andy V. Pham, John S. Carlson, John F. Kosciulek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: A survey study was conducted to explore ethnic differences in parental beliefs about the causes and treatments of ADHD and whether these beliefs predicted treatment preference. Method: Ethnically diverse parents of 5- to 12-year-old children with ADHD (n = 58) and without ADHD (n = 61) completed a questionnaire developed by the authors that asked them to rate statements about biological and psychological causes of ADHD and their beliefs about medication and behavioral treatment. Results: There were no significant ethnic differences in how parents viewed causes of ADHD. Beliefs about behavioral treatment revealed significant group differences, as ethnic minority (e.g., African American, Latino) parents rated behavioral treatments more positively than did Caucasian parents. Beliefs about biological causes predicted medication treatment and combined treatment use. Conclusion: Dissemination of information regarding evidence-based treatments should be given special attention as it may influence parents' decisions to pursue specific treatments based on their beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-591
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Parental beliefs
  • Survey
  • Treatment use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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