Parent-child relationships and ADHD symptoms: a longitudinal analysis

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2008 Feb;36(2):285-96. doi: 10.1007/s10802-007-9177-5. Epub 2007 Sep 13.


Evidence both from psychological research and clinical intervention studies suggests that there are bidirectional influences between overt child behavior problems and parent-child relations. Very little research however, has considered the pattern of relations that exists between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the parent-child relationship within a longitudinal context. Using a longitudinal community sample from the United Kingdom which included 194 school aged children (46% male and 54% female) and both parents, this study examined the relationship between child ADHD symptoms and displays of rejection in the parent-child relationship. These relationships were investigated separately for mothers and fathers using cross-lagged panel correlation and reciprocal effects analysis. Mothers and fathers reported on ADHD symptoms and children reported on their feelings of rejection in the mother-child and father-child relationships. Results suggested differences in the direction of effects linking mother- and father-child rejection and child ADHD symptoms; with ADHD symptoms affecting the mother-child relationship and the converse pattern of effects noted for fathers. Implications for future research focusing on the link between ADHD symptoms and parent-child relationships are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology
  • Father-Child Relations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Rejection, Psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom