Background/aims: Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects parental functioning which in turn has an impact on the off spring's psychopathology. The aim of this meta-analysis was to assess the relationship between parental ADHD symptoms and parental behaviour, focusing on comparative evaluation of studies using self-report and behavioural observation.
Method: A systematic literature search was conducted in three databases (Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus) resulting 13 studies and 87 effect-sizes (N = 2018) for a metaanalysis. We used random effect model, assessed heterogeneity, and evaluated the possibility of publication bias. We conducted subgroup analyses by method of assessing parental behaviour (self-report/observation), valence of parental behaviour (positive/negative), domain of negative parental behaviour (inconsistent discipline, hostility, corporal punishment), and ADHD symptom clusters (inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, combined). Meta-regression analyses were conducted to explore the eff ect of children's mean age, the ratio of mothers in the parent sample, and the ratio of boys and ADHD diagnosis in the children's sample.
Results: The mean effect size of the association of self-reported parental behaviour and ADHD symptoms was small but significant, higher levels of parental ADHD symptoms were related to higher levels of negative and lower levels of positive parental behaviour. The analysis did not suggest a publication bias. The effect was robust across ADHD symptom clusters. Children's mean age, the ratio of mothers in the parent sample, and the ratio of boys and ADHD diagnosis in the children's sample did not have a significant effect. On the other hand, behavioural observation of parental behavior was not related to parental ADHD symptoms.
Conclusion: Our results underlie the importance of methodology of assessing parental behaviour. Multi-method and multi-informant assessment in parenting research is warranted.
Keywords: ADHD; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; meta-analysis; parenting; parenting behaviour; self-report behavioural observation..