UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Parenting Cognitions and Treatment Beliefs as Predictors of Experience Using Behavioral Parenting Strategies in Families of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Johnston, Charlotte; Mah, Janet W. T.; Regambal, Marci Joan


We tested a model of mothers’ parenting efficacy and attributions for child ADHD behaviors as predictors of experiences with behavioral treatment. The model proposed that mothers’ beliefs regarding the acceptability and effectiveness of behavioral strategies would intervene between mothers’ cognitions about parenting and child behavior and their treatment experiences. Participants were 101 mothers of 5 to 10 year old children (82% male) with ADHD. Mothers reported their parenting efficacy and attributions for child behavior, and then received a single session of treatment teaching two behavior management strategies. Then, mothers reported their beliefs regarding the acceptability and effectiveness of these strategies. A follow-up phone interview 1 week later assessed mothers’ experiences in using the behavioral strategies. The overall model fit the data. Attributions of child ADHD behavior as more pervasive, enduring, and within the child’s control were related to seeing behavioral treatment as more acceptable, but neither attributions nor treatment acceptability predicted treatment experience. However, mothers with higher parenting efficacy viewed the behavioral strategies as more likely to be effective, and this pathway significantly predicted positive treatment experience. Implications for understanding the variables that contribute to parental decision-making and treatment participation for childhood ADHD are considered.

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