Parenting in Mothers With and Without Attention-Deficit- Hyperactivity Disorder.pdf

Parenting in Mothers With and Without Attention-Deficit- Hyperactivity Disorder.pdf

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Parenting in Mothers With and Without Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder Candice Murray and Charlotte Johnston University of British Columbia The authors examined the impact of maternal attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on parenting behaviors. Sixty mothers between the ages of 31 and 50 with ( n 30) and without ( n 30) ADHD and their 8- to 14-year-old children with ADHD completed self-report and laboratory measures of monitoring of child behavior, consistency in parenting, and parenting problem-solving abilities. These parenting behaviors were selected because of their established links to the development of child behavior problems. As predicted, mothers with ADHD were found to be poorer at monitoring child behavior and less consistent disciplinarians compared with mothers without ADHD. There was some evidence to support the prediction that mothers with ADHD were less effective at problem solving about child- rearing issues than control mothers. The differences between the 2 groups of mothers persisted after child oppositional and conduct-disordered behavior were controlled. These results indicate that parenting is an area of functioning that requires more attention in adult ADHD research. Keywords: parenting, adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, parent psychopathology, parent– child interactions, child attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Until the late 1980s, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was conceptualized as a childhood disorder that was outgrown before or during adolescence. Over the past 15 years, studies of adults with ADHD, identified during either childhood or adulthood, have altered this view (e.g., Biederman et al., 1993; Fischer, Barkley, Smallish, & Fletcher, 2002; Mannuzza, Klein, Bessler, Malloy, & LaPadula, 1993; Murphy, Barkley, & Bush, 2002). ADHD is now recognized as a disorder that continues into adulthood, causing impairment across psychological, academic, occupational, and social domains (e.g., Barkley, Murphy, & Kwasnik, 1996; Biederman et al., 1993; Murphy et al., 2002; G. Weiss, Hechtman, Perlman, Hopkins, & Wener, 1979; Young, Toone, & Tyson, 2003). Despite the recent proliferation of research on ADHD in adults, there remains a paucity of information regarding the functioning of adults with ADHD in the parenting domain. There are clinical and preliminary empirical grounds to suspect that having chronic and pervasive symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity interferes with a person’s ability to raise a child. Clinicians work- ing with parents with ADHD have written about the parenting difficulties faced by their clients (M. Weiss, Hechtman, & Weiss, 2000), and case studies have found that treating mothers for ADHD using stimulant medication results in improvements in their children’s behavior (Daly & Fritsch, 1995; Evans, Vallano, & Pelham, 1994). Empirical work also supports a negative associa- tion between ADHD symptoms and parenting skills. In post hoc analysis, Arnold, O’Leary, and Edwards (1997) found that among fathers with high levels of ADHD symptoms, greater parenting
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