Parent Perceptions of Medication Treatment for Preschool Children with ADHD

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2018 Feb;49(1):155-162. doi: 10.1007/s10578-017-0737-9.


This study sought to examine parent perceptions of medication use for 151 preschool children (M age = 5.05 years, 78% male, 82% Hispanic/Latino) with or at-risk for ADHD who were medication naive. Parents completed questionnaires regarding family background and perceptions of medication treatment. Parents and teachers completed ratings of child diagnostic symptomatology, behavioral functioning, and functional impairment. Results indicate that only 45% of parents were open to the possibility of medication. No associations were found between child demographics, severity of ADHD symptoms, or level of functional impairment and parental openness to medication. On the other hand, children of parents who were open to medication tended to have higher levels of oppositionality and aggression (as reported by parents but not teachers) compared with children of parents who were not open to medication. These findings are discussed in the context of early intervention given their implications for a variety of treatment providers.

Keywords: ADHD; Medication treatment; Parent perceptions; Preschool.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aggression
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*