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Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

2-10-2019

Degree Program

Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2019

Month Degree Awarded

February

Abstract

Previous research has suggested there may be racial differences in how adults perceive and rate children’s ADHD behavior (i.e., inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity). The current study examined these differences between African-American/Black (AA/B) parents and European-American/White (EA/W) parents and teachers. Participants watched video clips of children in classrooms and rated their ADHD behaviors and their likelihood of having ADHD. Results showed that EA/W parents and teachers rated African-American boys’ ADHD behaviors and their likelihood of having ADHD higher than AA/B parents. Mechanisms by which these differences exist were explored, including beliefs about stigma related to ADHD, values in movement and expressiveness, experiences with racism, and racial attitudes. Results suggested that EA/W teachers’ racial attitudes toward African Americans were related to their ratings of African-American boys’ ADHD behaviors and likelihood of having ADHD. More research is necessary to further explain the mechanisms by which such discrepancies in ratings of African-American boys’ ADHD behaviors exist between African-American and European-American adults to inform culturally sensitive assessment and diagnosis of ADHD in African-American children.

First Advisor

Elizabeth A. Harvey, PhD

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