New research suggests that parents' mental health directly impacts the conduct and behavior of their children with ADHD.
The mental health of parents can influence whether children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder will develop conduct problems such as lying, fighting, bullying and stealing, according to University of Maryland researchers.
The study, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal, Developmental Psychology, found that early positive parenting during the preschool years predicted fewer conduct problems as the children grew to early adolescence. The strength of the findings led the researchers to conclude that maternal depression may be a risk factor, whereas positive parenting may be a protective factor.
“This research gives us clear targets for early intervention to prevent conduct problems in children with ADHD,” says Andrea Chronis, director of the University of Maryland ADHD Program and professor of psychology who served as lead author on the paper. “In the real world, this could have important implications, because research has suggested that children with both ADHD and conduct problems are at the greatest risk of becoming chronic criminal offenders.”
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