Date of Award

1994

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Lis Pike

Abstract

The study used mothers of children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) Type I and Type II or a combination of both to investigate whether support group membership was beneficial to the mothers in terms of stress, self -efficacy and perceived social support. A accidental and purposive sample of 143 subject with an age range of 21 to 50 participated in the study. The participants completed a questionnaire which comprised a stress measure, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the General Self-efficacy Scale (GSES), and the Parental Support Scale (PSS) which has the Satisfaction with Perceived Social Support and the Network Size sub-scale. The questionnaire also solicited demographic and situational data. Participants were allocated to three groups according to support group membership status: OLD-MEMBERS(> 6 months), NEW MEMBERS(< 6 months) and NON-MEMBERS, Groups I, 2 and three respectively. One-way ANOV As were carried out on the demographic and situational variables found to be, or likely to be, predictors of significant differences between the groups; none were statistically significant at the .0004 adjusted alpha level. The number of DVs therefore remained at four: Stress, Self-efficacy, Satisfaction with Perceived Social Support, and Network Size. The main hypotheses collectively predicted that Group I would have the lowest levels of Stress than Group 2 and Group 3; and that Group 2 Stress levels would be lower than Group 3 Stress levels. Also that Group I would have the highest levels of Self-efficacy and Perceived Social Support than both Groups 2 and 3; and that Group 2's Self-efficacy and Perceived Social Support levels would be higher than those of Group 3. A MANOVA which used the four DVs and Group as the IV found no significant differences between the groups [F (8, 143) - .256, p > .05]. ANCOVAs using AGE as a covariate did not result in significant adjustments in the dependent variables: Stress (F (2, 143) = 1.93, p > .0125]; Efficacy [F (2.143) = .13, p > .0125]; Satisfaction with Perceived Social Support [F (2,143) = 1.26, p > .0125]; and Network Size [F (2, 143) = .62 , p > .0 125]. The hypotheses were therefore not supported. The hypothesis that a significant number of mothers in this sample would have clinically significant levels of Stress (GHQ > 3); and that their Stress levels would be significantly higher that those of the Perth general population were supported. 60.4% of mothers had clinically significant levels of Stress, which was significantly higher than the 18% in the general population; a Z-score of 7.574 with a critical value of 1.645 was significant at .05. The hypothesis that a significant number of mothers in this sample were primary care-givers~ 99% were primary care-givers. While, the differences between the groups were not statistically significant; the results indicate that support group does play a role in reducing Stress levels and increasing Perceived Social Support in mothers of children with ADHD. It was concluded that support groups could have the potential to provide valuable social support and enhance self-efficacy in their members.

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