A pilot study of stimulant medication for adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are parents of adolescents with ADHD: the acute effects of stimulant medication on observed parent-adolescent interactions

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2014 Dec;24(10):582-5. doi: 10.1089/cap.2014.0092.


Objective: This study explores the use of stimulant medication for parents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who also have adolescents with ADHD.

Methods: Five parents, diagnosed with ADHD, had their dose of lisdexamfetamine (LDX) titrated to optimal effect. Next, parents and their adolescents completed two interactions, once when parents were on placebo and once when parents were on optimal dose of LDX, to assess acute effects of parental medication on parenting during a neutral discussion (NeuDiss), a problem discussion (ProbDiss), and a homework task (HW).

Results: Parents demonstrated a significant decrease in the ratio of commands to total verbalizations during the NeuDiss on LDX compared with placebo. Although no other statistically significant effects emerged at the p<0.05 level, moderate to large effects of medication on some aspects of parenting related to the amount and timing of speech (i.e., total verbalizations, total commands, ratio of commands to total verbalizations, and responsiveness) emerged and varied by task. Parental stimulant medication did not appear to impact the content of parents' speech (i.e., use of negative talk or praise).

Conclusions: These results add to a growing literature suggesting that treatment for parental ADHD may impact parenting performance, and suggest that attention to parental ADHD in treatment for adolescents with ADHD may possibly enhance family functioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Dextroamphetamine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting
  • Pilot Projects


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate
  • Dextroamphetamine