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Parenting behavior as a predictor for changes in deviant behavior in boys with ADHD Hommersen, Paul

Abstract

This study examines the degree to which parenting behaviors have a concurrent or predictive relationship to the severity of oppositional defiant (ODD) and/or conduct disordered (CD) behaviors among boys with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Specifically, the parenting variables assessed were parental Over-reactivity, Restrictiveness, and Nurturance. Fifty-five mothers of male children with ADHD, aged 7 to 10 years old, completed several measures of parenting behavior and child disruptive behaviors. All mothers completed these measures at Time 1, and a subsample of 25 completed them again 1 year later (Time 2). Measures included the Parenting Scale and the Child Rearing Practices Report (at Time 1), and behavioral rating scales describing the number and severity of child ODD (at Times 1 and 2) and CD (at Time 2) behaviors. Two hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis was that concurrent associations among measures at Time 1 would show a positive correlation between the severity of ODD symptoms in children and mothers' reports of Over-reactive and Restrictive parenting behaviors, and a negative correlation with Nurturing parenting behavior. The second hypothesis was that increases in the severity of the child's ODD and CD behaviors at Time 2 could be predicted based on mothers' Time 1 reports of more Over-reactive and Restrictive parenting behavior, and/or less Nurturing parenting behavior. Consistent with predictions of the first hypothesis, high parenting Restrictiveness was correlated with greater child ODD behavior, and high Nurturance was correlated with lower ODD severity. Perhaps because of insufficient power for testing the second hypothesis, only high parenting Over-reactivity scores were marginally correlated with increases in child ODD/CD severity over time. These results suggest that the transactional model does appear to be a model through which both positive and negative parenting behaviors are related, at least concurrently, to the severity of child ODD/Aggressive behaviors. The evidence also seems to suggest that the negative aspects of parenting, specifically harsh and controlling parental behaviors, are able to predict changes in severity of ODD/CD behavior among children with ADHD.

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