Product of Society: School-Aged Children, ADHD, and Mental Health Support in a Low-Income Rural Community

Thumbnail Image
Quarles, Courtney
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Mental health resources and support are unavailable, inaccessible, and unaffordable in low- income and rural communities. This study highlights the current mental health resources and support for school-aged children (4 to 17) with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. This research study uses a mixed-methods design along with an online survey, demographics, a knowledge-based approach, and quantitative and qualitative measures, which included multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Study participation was anonymous, and it brought awareness about community resources. The findings support creative therapies (art therapy, music therapy, and more) in low-income and rural communities for school-aged children with ADHD. The themes include mental health support and resources, parent education about mental health, and creative therapies for ADHD. The limitations include the COVID-19 pandemic, a diversity of participants, and a lack of research instruments. Additional recommendations included developing school-based art therapy programs to support children with ADHD due to their effect in stimulating multiple senses, promoting self-expression, and improving academic performance.