Study: Parents of Students with ADHD More Likely to Receive Negative Comments from School
Parents of children with ADHD are several times more likely to receive negative feedback from school about behavior and classwork, according to a new study on parental involvement in education.
March 24, 2020
Parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely than other caregivers to receive negative comments from school regarding their child’s behavior and classwork, according to a new study on parental involvement in education published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.1
The study, which sought to gauge the involvement in education among parents of students with ADHD, found that these caregivers are about four times more likely than their counterparts to receive communication from teachers or administrators specifically regarding their child’s behavior and schoolwork problems.
Researchers arrived at their findings by analyzing responses from the 2016 National Household Education Survey—Parent and Family Involvement (NHES-PFI), a self-administered mail survey sent out by the U.S. Census Bureau. Of the 11,523 parents who completed the survey and met the parameters of the study, 1,600 were identified as parents of children with ADHD. Parents in both groups answered questions regarding their degree of educational involvement for their children, including the number of times the school has contacted the household with negative and positive comments, whether they attend class or school events, and whether they check and help with homework.
The analysis found that parents of children with ADHD, compared to parents of neurotypical children, were:
- About three times more likely to receive phone calls specifically about their child
- Twice as likely to receive notes specifically about their child
- Three times more likely to meet with the guidance counselor
- 77% more likely to attend parent-teacher conferences
- 29% less likely to attend school or class events
- 33% more likely to have conversations about time management
The findings, which represent the first population-based study of parental involvement in the education of children with ADHD, counter the researchers’ hypotheses — that parents of children with ADHD would have lower parental involvement due to time and energy constraints.
The researchers noted that potential limitations of the study include the confines of the NHES-PFI, which only collects parents’ views and could benefit from teachers’ views, and the accuracy of self-reported information with no clinical confirmation.
Still, they underscore the need for clinicians to recognize that the presence of ADHD plays a significant role in the matter. “This better understanding of the context for parental involvement may lead to a more accurate understanding of the parent–child relationship, and also how ADHD is impacting parental involvement in education,” the study concludes.