Do Parents’ ADHD Symptoms Affect Treatment for their Children? The Impact of Parental ADHD on Adherence to Behavioral Parent Training for Childhood ADHD

Lauren M. Friedman, Melissa R. Dvorsky, Keith McBurnett, Linda J. Pfiffner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nearly half of all youth with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have at least one parent who also meets criteria for the disorder, and intergenerational ADHD is a significant risk factor for poor outcomes following evidence-based behavioral parent training (BPT) programs. Given that BPT is predicated on consistent parental involvement, symptoms of ADHD in parents may be a significant barrier to effective engagement with BPT treatment. In the present investigation, we examine the effect of parental ADHD symptoms on BPT treatment engagement for children with ADHD-predominantly inattentive presentation (N = 148, ages 7–11). We examine the following parent- and clinician-rated treatment engagement domains: between-session skill adherence, in-session participation, perceived skill understanding, treatment-engagement attitudes, and session attendance. Parent- and clinician-rated between-session adherence was the only treatment engagement domain related significantly to parental ADHD symptoms. This finding was robust and remained even after accounting for symptoms of parental anxiety and depression, child ADHD symptom severity, and various sociodemographic factors (parental education level, household income, employment status, and being a single parent). These findings suggest that targeting parental ADHD symptoms in the context of parenting interventions may be a promising approach for improving adherence and treatment outcomes for BPT interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1425-1437
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume48
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adherence
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Behavioral intervention
  • Parenting
  • Treatment engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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