UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Parenting in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Johnston, Charlotte; Mash, Eric J.; Miller, Natalie; Ninowski, Jerilyn E.


Although the validity of adult ADHD is well established and research has identified a variety of impairments associated with the condition in adults, study of how ADHD impacts an adult’s ability to parent has been relatively neglected. Parenting is a particularly important domain of functioning given the familial nature of the disorder and emerging evidence that parenting behaviors play a role in the development or maintenance of child ADHD symptoms, comorbid psychopathologies, and other associated difficulties. In this paper, we focus on three broad categories of cognitive dysfunction proposed across models of ADHD – cognitive processes (e.g., working memory, planning, and inhibitory control), self-regulation deficits (e.g., self-monitoring of performance to detect errors or the need for regulation of behavior and/or emotions), and motivational or arousal difficulties (e.g., response to incentives, delay aversion). We consider how these deficits may lead to impairments in the parenting behaviors of effective behavioral control and emotional responsiveness, and review the available evidence regarding parenting in adults with ADHD symptoms. We conclude by noting the limitations in existing studies, and argue for further research that is theoretically grounded in how core deficits of ADHD may be related to dimensions of parenting. The implications of an improved understanding of how ADHD impacts parenting for the development of early intervention or prevention programs are outlined.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada