My name is Rachel Coughlan. I am an Educational Psychologist in Training studying for the degree of Doctorate in Educational Psychology at the School of Education, University College Dublin (UCD). My doctoral thesis, which is being supervised by Dr Joyce Senior, focuses on the lived experiences of women with ADHD.
What is this research about?
This research is about exploring the experiences of women with ADHD in relation to how they perceive ADHD has, and continues to, influence their lives. The purpose of this study is to inform approaches to intervention and support for young girls and women with ADHD.
Why am I doing this research?
Most research on ADHD has focused on males. However, research indicates that females with ADHD have different symptoms and challenges to those experienced by males with ADHD. It is hoped that the findings from this study will highlight some of the ways girls and women experience ADHD in order to improve the practice of professionals such as educational psychologists who work with them.
Why have you been invited to take part?
I am contacting all women diagnosed with ADHD aged 18 years or over who access the services of ADHD Ireland to take part in this study.
What will happen if you decide to take part in this research study?
If you are interested in taking part in this research, I will arrange to meet you at a time and location that is convenient for you, either in the ADHD Ireland, Carmichael House, 4 North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 or in a meeting room in the School of Education in UCD. You will take part in an interview with me during which I will ask you questions about your experiences of having ADHD in childhood and as an adult, including questions about your experiences at school, and the impact it may have had on your family, occupational and social life. The interview will last approximately and an hour.
How will your data be used?
Your interview will be audio recorded and then I will type it up for analysis. Quotes from your interview may be used in the study, but will be kept anonymous. The results will be written up in a doctoral thesis and submitted to UCD for examination for the degree of Doctorate in Educational Psychology. The study may also be put forward for publication in an academic journal. Again, your identity will be kept confidential.
How will your privacy be protected?
All information about you will be kept strictly confidential. I will not use your real name or any identifiable information about you in anything I write about the study. When I have transcribed your interview, I will delete the audio recording. All data gathered will be stored on an encrypted, password-protected laptop in a secure location.
What are the benefits in taking part in this research study?
You may not benefit directly from taking part in this research. However, it is hoped that the information gathered from this study will result in a deeper public understanding and awareness of the experiences of girls and women with ADHD. It is hoped that the findings will provide useful information to guide the planning of services and supports for females with ADHD and improve knowledge amongst professionals who work with them.
What are the risks in taking part in this research study?
It is possible that you may become upset when talking about your experience of having ADHD. If this happens, you will be offered the opportunity to take a break, to postpone the interview, to end the interview or to withdraw from the research altogether. In addition, I will provide you with information on services available to support you.
Can you change your mind at any stage and withdraw from the study?
It is up to you to decide if you want to take part in the study. You are free to change your mind and to withdraw from the research at any stage without giving a reason, up until two weeks following your interview. At this point, it may not be possible to withdraw as analysis will have already commenced on your interview.
How will you find out what happens with this project?
I will keep a record of your email details. Your email details will be encrypted and stored securely. When the study is completed, I will email you with a summary of the main findings. The results may be used towards the publication of a journal article in an academic journal.
Contact details for further information:
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me using the details below. I am also enclosing the contact details of my research supervisor.
Thank you for reading this information.
Rachel Coughlan, Trainee Educational Psychologist and Doctoral Researcher
Supervisor: Dr Joyce Senior, Director of the Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology in UCD, Dublin