Category: ADHD - Child

Symposium

Help-Seeking Behaviors and Correlates of Barriers to Treatment for Black Families of Children With ADHD

Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Aqua Salon C & D, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: ADHD - Child / Adolescent | African Americans | Comorbidity
Presentation Type: Symposium

Black families engage in lower rates of mental health service use for their children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared to White parents (e.g., Stevens et al., 2005). Specifically, even when their children have been identified as at-risk, Black parents often do not seek help or drop out of treatment prematurely. Some researchers have found that these findings persist even when socioeconomic status is taken into account (Bussing et al., 2003). The primary aim of this presentation is to describe help-seeking behaviors and predictors of barriers to psychosocial treatment for Black families of children with ADHD.


 Sixty-seven Black parents (93% female, M age = 35 years) of children with ADHD were recruited from an urban pediatric primary care clinic. Parents completed the Services for Children and Adolescents-Parent Interview, Barriers to Treatment Participation Scale, Impairment Rating Scale, and the Child Behavior Checklist. Most parents consulted with 2 or fewer people about their child’s ADHD. The majority (90%) endorsed using medication to treat their child’s ADHD. Most (85%) had not sought psychosocial treatment for their child, despite reporting significant impairment. Over half (66%) had obtained school accommodations for their child. Anxious (r=.31, p=.014), withdrawn/depressed (r=.48, pr=.52, pr=.29, p=.024) all correlated to barriers to treatment. When entered into a regression, only somatic complaints emerged as a significant predictor of barriers to treatment (R2 = .27).


Our findings indicate that, particularly among those Black parents already medicating their children, many do not access psychosocial treatment for their child, and that comorbid somatic complaints are a significant barrier to treatment for these parents. Clinicians should work to increase Black parental awareness of and access to psychosocial treatment (e.g., via integrated primary care). Researchers should also investigate whether treatments that attempt to decrease comorbid psychopathology increase engagement in subsequent ADHD treatment.


This research was supported by an internal institutional grant awarded to the Heather A. Jones, Ph.D. 

Heather A. Jones

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Virginia Commonwealth University

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