Generating mutual support in multifamily therapy to promote father involvement and family communication quality of Chinese families of adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A qualitative study

Wing Ka Julia LO, Joyce Lai Chong MA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested the negative impacts of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on parent–adolescent interactions. Yet engaging parents, particularly the fathers, to participate in family-based interventions has been challenging in Chinese contexts given the traditional concerns about keeping the family's “face” and the influence of affiliate stigma. Empirical evidence supports multifamily therapy as an effective modality for parental engagement. This study explores the role of mutual support in promoting parental engagement and family communication quality of Chinese families of adolescents with ADHD. Inclusion criteria of the study were (a) Chinese family of at least one adolescent child having an ADHD diagnosis, (b) the adolescent child was aged between 11 and 15 years, and (c) the family participated in a multifamily therapy program. Families who had not completed a multifamily therapy program were excluded. Fourteen Chinese families of adolescents with ADHD who participated in a pilot multifamily therapy program from June 2017 to September 2018 were recruited for this qualitative study. Photo-elicited parent focus groups and photo-elicited individual interviews with adolescents were conducted. The thematic analysis revealed that a low level of hierarchy in the therapist–client relationship contributed to the building of mutual support among the families in the therapy process. The mutual support was found to play a key role in promoting acceptance, father involvement, and open communication within families of adolescents with ADHD. Discussion was conducted on the importance of the nonexpert stance of the therapist for promoting mutual support among Chinese families in a multifamily therapy process. Copyright © 2023 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Process
Early online dateNov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2023

Citation

Lo, J. W. K., & Ma, J. L. C. (2023). Generating mutual support in multifamily therapy to promote father involvement and family communication quality of Chinese families of adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A qualitative study. Family Process. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12944

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Adolescent
  • Chinese families
  • Father involvement
  • Multifamily therapy
  • Mutual support

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