Parenting stress in families of children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder : how demographics and social support influence parenting stress : a study from Vietnam : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
Parenting stress is a typical part of any parenthood; however, having continuing
high levels of stress could negatively impact parents’ health and the parent-child
relationship. It has been agreed by researchers and clinicians that parents whose
children have ADHD are among the top groups having parenting stress.
This study was conducted in Vietnam, a South East Asian country, and will focus
onto three aspects of the phenomenon. First, to examine how Vietnamese parents
with children diagnosed with ADHD experience parenting stress and how parenting
stress varies according to demographics. Second, to examine the level of support those
parents receive. Finally, this study aims to investigate the contribution of
demographical and social support factors to the variance of parenting stress.
Participants were a convenient sample of 130 individuals living within Vietnam that
had at least one child with ADHD. They were asked to complete an anonymous selfreport
survey assessing their demographic status, parenting stress, and social support.
Consistent with previous studies both in the West and in Asia, parents in this study
reported high levels of stress with the parenting stress found higher in mothers.
Significantly, it was found that parents who lived with extended family; parents living
in small cities; parents whose child had been diagnosed for more than 3 years; parents
who had their child medicated or attended psychotherapy experienced higher stress
than their counterparts. When entering the regression model, parent gender, family
living arrangement and family geographical location significantly arose as predictors
for parenting stress. Demographics as a group accounted for 22.3% of parenting stress
experience and 22.5% of parenting stress degree.
It was also found that the helpfulness of support sources reported by parents was
generally small across different support groups and Professionals but not Family were
perceived as the most helpful to parents in taking care of their child. Nevertheless, the
more professional support parents perceived the more stress they experienced.