Parent-adolescent conflict in teenagers with ADHD and ODD

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2001 Dec;29(6):557-72. doi: 10.1023/a:1012285326937.


Eighty-seven male teens (ages 12-18 years) with ADHD/ODD and their parents were compared to 32 male teens and their parents in a community control (CC) group on mother, father, and teen ratings of parent-teen conflict and communication quality, parental self-reports of psychological adjustment, and direct observations of parent-teen problem-solving interactions during a neutral and conflict discussion. Parents and teens in the ADHD/ODD group rated themselves as having significantly more issues involving parent-teen conflict, more anger during these conflict discussions, and more negative communication generally, and used more aggressive conflict tactics with each other than did parents and teens in the CC group. During a neutral discussion, only the ADHD/ODD teens demonstrated more negative behavior. During the conflict discussion, however, the mothers, fathers, and teens in the ADHD/ODD group displayed more negative behavior, and the mothers and teens showed less positive behavior than did participants in the CC group. Differences in conflicts related to sex of parent were evident on only a few measures. Both mother and father self-rated hostility contributed to the level of mother-teen conflict whereas father self-rated hostility and anxiety contributed to father-teen conflict beyond the contribution made by level of teen ODD and ADHD symptoms. Results replicated past studies of mother-child interactions in ADHD/ODD children, extended these results to teens with these disorders, showed that greater conflict also occurs in father-teen interactions, and found that degree of parental hostility, but not ADHD symptoms, further contributed to levels of parent-teen conflict beyond the contribution made by severity of teen ADHD and ODD symptoms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Communication
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Gender Identity
  • Hostility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Problem Solving