This study explored the nature of interactions between adolescent males with ADHD and their mothers, and the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on an analogue parent-teen interaction task. Twenty-five adolescent males with ADHD ( M = 13.6 years) and their mothers and 14 non-ADHD adolescent males ( M = 13.4 years) and their mothers completed ratings of perceived dyadic conflict. Behavioral observations of dyads during 10-min conflict-resolution tasks were also collected. The ADHD dyads completed these tasks twice, with adolescents receiving either 0.3 mg/kg MPH or placebo. Videotaped sessions were coded using the Parent-Adolescent Interaction Rating Scale. Following the conflict-resolution task, participants rated their perceived conflict and affect during the interaction. Findings indicated higher conflict in the ADHD dyads, and minimal MPH effects on parent-teen interactions during the analogue task. Results suggest that stimulant medication does not produce meaningful acute effects on parent-teen interactions.
Keywords: ADHD; adolescence; stimulant medication.