Parent stress and coping in relation to child ADHD severity and associated child disruptive behavior problems

J Clin Child Psychol. 2001 Dec;30(4):503-13. doi: 10.1207/S15374424JCCP3004_07.


Examined parent role distress and coping in relation to childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in mothers and fathers of 66 children age 7 to 11 (42 boys, 24 girls; mean age = 10.2). Parents of children with ADHD combined and inattentive subtypes expressed more role dissatisfaction than parents of control children. Parents of ADHD combined and inattentive type children did not differ significantly in levels of distress. For mothers, child inattention and oppositional-conduct problems but not hyperactivity contributed uniquely to role distress (dissatisfaction related to parenting or parenting performance). For fathers, parenting role distress was associated uniquely with child oppositional or aggressive behaviors but not with ADHD symptom severity. Parent coping by more use of positive reframing (thinking about problems as challenges that might be overcome) was associated with higher role satisfaction for both mothers and fathers. Community supports were associated with higher distress for mothers only.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Cost of Illness
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological*