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Parents Mental Health Influence Child’s ADHD

The mental health of parents can influence whether children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder will develop conduct problems such as lying, fighting, bullying and stealing, according to University of Maryland researchers.

The study, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal, Developmental Psychology, found that early positive parenting during the preschool years predicted fewer conduct problems as the children grew to early adolescence. The strength of the findings led the researchers to conclude that maternal depression may be a risk factor, whereas positive parenting may be a protective factor.

“This research gives us clear targets for early intervention to prevent conduct problems in children with ADHD,” says Andrea Chronis, director of the University of Maryland ADHD Program and professor of psychology who served as lead author on the paper. “In the real world, this could have important implications, because research has suggested that children with both ADHD and conduct problems are at the greatest risk of becoming chronic criminal offenders.”

The researchers say their study is the first to focus directly on the role of parent mental health and early parenting in the development of conduct problems among children with ADHD. Moreover, they point to previous research that shows the development of conduct problems to be quite common in children with ADHD. By one estimate, approximately 20 to 50 percent of children and 44 to 50 percent of adolescents with ADHD experience severe conduct problems.

“Parenting an ADHD child is very difficult for many families,” Chronis says. “Often there’s a growing cycle of negativity as parents’ nerves fray and their children’s behavior escalates in response to increasingly harsh or withdrawn parenting. Maternal depression makes parenting a child with ADHD even more challenging. Now we have new evidence that praise, a warm tone of voice and use of other positive parenting techniques may help break this dangerous cycle.”

Source: University of Maryland

Parents Mental Health Influence Child’s ADHD

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Parents Mental Health Influence Child’s ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 18, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/03/28/parents-mental-health-influence-childs-adhd/713.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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