The management of courtesy stigma in the lives of families with teenagers with ADHD

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Regina Bussing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


This qualitative study investigates how parents of adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manage courtesy stigma in their lives. Focus groups are conducted with mothers and fathers of adolescents with ADHD who are part of a cohort study on ADHD detection and service use. Using grounded theory analysis, researchers find that parents react to external expectations put forward by various community networks, but they respond to an internalized sense of responsibility in the context of immediate family. In addition, parents' stigma management extends beyond coping with their child's disability, adding an extra layer of stressful demands that could be lessened through societal stigma reduction. To conclude, advice offered to families needs to be individualized, carefully matched with their current support networks and priorities, and needs to consider that certain stigma management approaches can perpetuate existing negative identity markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1200
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Courtesy stigma
  • Family
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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