Category: ADHD - Child
Parents of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) report significant parenting stress in their interactions with their children (Theule et al., 2013). For children with comorbid conduct problems, mothers report more parenting stress than mothers of children with ADHD alone (Chronis et al., 2007). Given that parenting practices differ between African American and European American families (Deater-Deckard et al., 1996), and that African American youth are at an elevated risk of developing conduct problems (Lahey et al., 2005), the aim of the current study was to investigate relationships among child ADHD diagnostic status, parenting stress, and child conduct problems.
Participants in this study included 78 African American mothers (M age= 35.69, SD = 6.60) whose children either had ADHD (n= 49, M age= 7.80, SD=1.35) or did not have ADHD (n= 29, M age= 7.59, SD=1.40). Mothers completed a demographic questionnaire, a semi-structured clinical interview, the ADHD Rating scale (also completed by teachers), the Impairment Rating Scale, and the Parenting Stress Index – Short Form.
First, an independent-samples t-test was performed to compare parenting stress in the ADHD and non-ADHD groups. Analyses revealed significant group differences on parenting stress symptoms between the ADHD group (M = 86.89, SD = 29.77) and non-ADHD group (M = 66.32, SD = 17.67; t(72) = 3.31, p = .001). Next, a hierarchical regression was conducted with parenting stress as the dependent variable. Child ADHD diagnostic status and socioeconomic status (SES) were entered in the first step, and child conduct problems was entered in the second step. Together, the predictors accounted for 27% of the variance in parenting stress, F(3, 73) = 8.53, R2 = .27, p < .001. In the final model, only child conduct problems significantly predicted parenting stress, β = .41, p < .01. These results suggest child conduct problems are associated with parenting stress in African American mothers, beyond the impact of ADHD diagnosis and SES.
Results of this study suggest, compared to ADHD and independent of SES, conduct problems are a more salient predictor of parenting stress in African American families. Clinicians treating ADHD in African American children may first need to consider conduct problems if parenting stress is an outcome of interest. Further, as parents who experience high levels of parenting stress are more likely to have difficulty implementing interventions, clinicians may need to address parenting stress more directly with some families. Researchers should investigate whether African American families are more engaged in treatment if parenting stress is a focus of intervention. Finally, longitudinal research should examine the temporal relationship between parenting stress and conduct problems specifically within African American families of children with ADHD.
Amanda Parks– Doctoral Student, Virginia Commonwealth University
Stephanie Wilson– Virginia Commonwealth University
Alfonso Floyd– Doctoral Student, Virginia Commonwealth University
Jannah Madyun– Virginia Commonwealth University
Heather Jones– Assistant Professor of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University