Research Output

Negotiating the ‘good parent’: Parental talk about their child’s ADHD diagnosis.

  Background: ADHD is a contemporary and contested public health area, with rising diagnoses predicted in European contexts due to increased use of American classification. Parents are important in the diagnostic process and care for childhood ADHD and their own health key.

Method: Parental talk about ADHD was analysed using ‘critical discursive psychology’ (Edley, 2001), from semi-structured interviews in Scotland. Two contradictory interpretive repertoires were deployed including: a Biological repertoire which accounted for difficulties as constitutional versus an Environmental repertoire which accounted for the difficulties in parenting terms. This tension for parental accountability was resolved through the accomplishment of a ‘good parent’ identity construction, in talk about diagnosis.

Discussion: The findings showed how current health policy as ADHD was socially produced in parental talk, highlighting limitations with ADHD constructions. The work is relevant for critical health psychological debate over the medicalisation of children’s difficulties and the implications for parental well-being.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 2007

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Taylor and Francis

  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.73 Nursing


Gray Brunton, C. (2007). Negotiating the ‘good parent’: Parental talk about their child’s ADHD diagnosis. Psychology and Health. 23, 133. doi:10.1080/08870440802299543. ISSN 0887-0446



ADHD; public health; parent wellbeing; child health;

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