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UBC Theses and Dissertations

How parent and child attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms predict parenting behaviour in mothers and fathers : self-report and observational measures Williamson, David Kenneth


Parents of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are known to engage in more negative and fewer positive parenting behaviours with their sons than controls. Further, parents who themselves have ADHD have greater difficulty in parenting. However, people with ADHD are also known to have difficulty accurately reporting on their behaviour, and may not be reliable reports of their parenting. Further, the vast majority of research on parenting in ADHD is exclusively with mothers. It is not known the extent to which research on mothers extends to fathers. In this study, I investigated whether ADHD symptoms in mothers and fathers interacted with ADHD symptoms in their sons in the association with positive and negative parenting problems and whether results differed when parenting behaviour was self-reported or observed. I found that observations of parenting were not related to parental ADHD symptoms. When parenting was self-reported, both mothers' and fathers' ADHD symptoms were related to parenting. However, only mothers’ ADHD symptoms continued to be related to their self-reports of parent behaviour when other family variables were controlled. This suggests that the pattern of associations of family ADHD symptoms with parenting is different for mothers and fathers, and that there may be discrepancies in perceptions of parenting as no associations were found when parenting was observed.

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