Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S., Daley, David and Thompson, Margaret
Does maternal ADHD reduce the effectiveness of parent training for preschool children's ADHD?
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, (6), . (doi:10.1097/00004583-200206000-00009).
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Objective: To assess the impact of maternal attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on the effectiveness of a parent training (PT) program for preschool ADHD.
Method: Eighty-three 3-year-old children with ADHD and their mothers selected from two community cohorts living in Hampshire, England (1992-93 and -96, respectively), completed an 8-week PT program. ADHD symptoms and a number of other parent and child factors, including adult ADHD symptoms, were measured prior to the start of treatment (week 1: T1), immediately after treatment (week 8: T2), and at 15 weeks follow-up (week 23: T3).
Results: Mothers were divided into three groups on the basis of their scores (T1) on the Adult AD/HD Rating Scale (high, medium, low). Children of mothers in the high-ADHD group displayed no improvement after PT, whereas the levels of ADHD symptoms of the children of mothers in either the medium or low ADHD groups reduced substantially (F4,160 = 3.13, p < .05). This association persisted after other child and maternal factors were controlled for in multiple regression analyses ([beta] > .30, p < .05).
Conclusions: High levels of maternal ADHD symptoms limit the improvement shown by children with ADHD after a program of PT. This effect was unrelated to other aspects of maternal mental health and child functioning. The treatment of parental ADHD may be a prerequisite for the success of psychosocial interventions for childhood ADHD.
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