Parental ADHD Symptomology and Ineffective Parenting: The Connecting Link of Home Chaos

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan D. Calkins, Professor (Creator)
Susan P. Keane, Professor (Creator)
Marion O'Brien, Professor, Director of Family Research Center and Associate Dean for Research (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Objective. This study examines links between maternal and paternal attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and parenting practices that require inhibition of impulses, sustained attention, and consistency; the role of home chaos in these associations is also assessed. Design. ADHD symptoms, the level of home chaos, and parenting practices (e.g., involvement, inconsistent discipline, supportive and nonsupportive responses to children’s negative emotions, and positive parenting) were assessed through self-reports of 311 mothers and 149 fathers of middle-childhood children. Teachers assessed the child ADHD symptoms. Results. Mothers reported higher home chaos when they or their children had higher levels of ADHD symptoms; for fathers, only their own ADHD symptoms predicted higher levels of home chaos. Mothers’ ADHD symptoms were positively associated with inconsistent discipline and nonsupportive responses to children’s negative emotions, and these associations were mediated by home chaos. Higher levels of fathers’ ADHD symptoms predicted more inconsistent discipline, low involvement, and a low level of supportive and a high level of nonsupportive responses to children’s negative emotions. Home chaos moderated the link between paternal ADHD and inconsistent discipline and mediated the link between paternal ADHD and involvement. Overall, positive aspects of parenting, and those that require attention and ability to control one’s impulses, may be compromised in fathers with high levels of ADHD symptoms. Conclusions. Effectiveness of specific parenting practices for both mothers and fathers may be compromised in parents with ADHD symptoms. In certain cases, parental ADHD symptoms translate into ineffective parenting through disorganized homes.

Additional Information

Parenting: Science and Practice, 10(2), 119-135
Language: English
Date: 2010
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, parenting practices, home chaos

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