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Parenting in mothers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Murray, Candice

Abstract

A limited number of controlled research studies indicate that inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive behaviour in parents may interfere with their ability to manage their children's behaviour. The goal of this dissertation was to examine the impact of maternal Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on important parenting behaviours. 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 a series of self-report and laboratory measures designed to measure maternal monitoring of child behavior, consistency in parenting, and parenting problem-solving abilities. These parenting behaviours were selected because of their established links to the development of child behaviour problems. As predicted, mothers with ADHD were found to be poorer at monitoring child behaviour and less consistent disciplinarians compared to mothers without ADHD. There was some evidence to support the prediction that mothers with ADHD were less effective at problem-solving about childrearing issues than control mothers. The differences found between the two groups of mothers persisted after child oppositional and conduct disordered behaviour were controlled. These results indicate that parenting is an area of functioning that requires more attention in adult ADHD research. Future studies are needed to investigate areas of challenge, and strength, among parents with ADHD.

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