This generic qualitative study explored the empathic experiences of midlife adults diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Conflicting research exists regarding empathic abilities in individuals diagnosed with ADHD. As adults diagnosed with ADHD are at an increased risk for social isolation and a major developmental task of midlife is the establishment and maintenance of pair bonds, understanding how midlife adults diagnosed with ADHD engage in empathy within the context of these relationships would address this gap in research. As this study examined subjective interpretations of empathic experiences and viewed reality as a social construct, generic qualitative inquiry via a lens of social constructivism was selected as the research design. The population sampled included adults between the ages of 30 and 60, diagnosed with ADHD by a mental health or medical professional at least six months prior to the study, who identified involvement in at least one consensual psychologically, emotionally, and sexually intimate relationship. Thematic analysis with constant comparison was used to analyze the data. The study revealed four themes: development of ADHD identity, self-awareness, being there, and other awareness. Future research could focus on the non-ADHD partner’s empathic experiences within the context of a pair bond where the other partner is diagnosed with ADHD, qualitative studies that address how empathy is conceptualized by adults diagnosed with ADHD, and studies that address the omnipotent ADHD diagnosis and its impact on identity.
|Department:||School of Counseling and Human Services|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Counseling Psychology, Social psychology|
|Keywords:||Social isolation, Midlife adults, Social constructivism|
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