Summary: School social workers and school counselors play an important role in providing support to the parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Issues regarding the barriers to parental involvement have not been well-explored empirically in social work. By means of semistructured interviews, this study explored the perspectives of 20 Mainland Chinese parents about parental involvement in their children’s education and in schools, parent–teacher relationships, the social factors that affect individual families, and the cultural and contextual factors that hinder parental involvement in children’s education.
Findings: Using thematic analysis, the researchers identified major themes: (a) emotional overinvolvement of parents in children’s education; (b) withdrawal of fathers; (c) positive and negative teacher–parent relationships; (d) contextual factors: school culture, system, and policies; and (e) parents’ preferred sources of support.
Applications: This research provides insight for school social workers and school counselors to develop supportive measures for parents of children with ADHD. Furthermore, it is recommended that social workers mediate tensions that arise from conflicts between teachers and parents. Social workers need to be sensitive to the power and cultural issues embedded in a parent–teacher relationship to facilitate parental involvement in school mental health services for children with ADHD. In particular, the cultural beliefs that affect parents and teachers relationships should not be ignored.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health(social science)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- children and families
- learning disability
- qualitative research
- Social work