Dr. Cindy Taylor

Clinical Psychologist

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Parenting Research

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Parent Stress

            Anastopoulos, A. D., Guevremont, D. C., Shelton, T. L., & DuPaul, G. J. (1992).  Parenting stress among families of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 20, 503-520.

Ø  Examined the cases of stress in families with ADHD children and found that three child characteristics (aggressiveness, severity of ADHD, and health) were highly predictive as a group of parenting stress.  Two maternal characteristics (psychopathology and health status) were also predictive, although less so.


            Baker, D. B. (1994).  Parenting stress and ADHD:  A comparison of mothers and fathers.  Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 2 (1), 46-50.

Ø  Found little difference between stress experienced by mothers and fathers of ADHD children.  Child behavior, socioeconomic status, and years married contributed to stress more than parent gender.


            Breen, M. J. & Barkley, R. A. (1988).  Child psychopathology and parenting stress in girls and boys having attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 13, 265-280.

Ø  There is no significant difference in the amount of parenting stress due to the child’s gender (i.e. ADHD girls are just as stressful to parents as ADHD boys).       


            Fisher, M. (1990).  Parenting stress and the child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 19(4), 337-346.

Ø  Parents of ADHD children have increased stress compared to parents of non-ADHD children.  Mothers of ADHD children are more likely to seek help for themselves, especially as their child grows older.  Increased stress is associated with child characteristics (e.g. distractibility and “degree of bother”) and parent characteristics (e.g. depression, self-blame, social isolation, and incompetence in parenting skills).  Mothers of hyperactive children report more symptoms of depression.  Depression in parents is thought to heighten their perceptions of child maladjustment and to increase the number of commands and the amount of controlling behavior they exhibit.  Presumably, then, depression could act to maintain negative child behaviors, to impair response to treatment offered, and to maintain stress.


Harrison, C., & Sofronoff, K.  (2002).  ADHD and parental psychological distress: Role of demographics, child behavioral characteristics, and parental cognitions.  Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 703-711.

Ø  Mothers were interviewed and provided ratings of behavioral disturbance, severity of ADHD, knowledge of ADHD, attributions of cause and controllability of ADHD-related behaviors, parenting stress, and depression. Results indicated that the combination of these variables was significantly associated with parental psychological distress.  This supports the view that interventions for ADHD aimed only at child behavior are unlikely to alter long-term outcome.


Podolski, C., & Nigg, J. T.  (2001).  Parent stress and coping in relation to child ADHD severity and associated child disruptive behavior problems.  Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30, 503-513.

Ø  Parents of children with ADHD combined and inattentive subtypes are more dissatisfied with their roles as parents than parents of control children (dissatisfaction related to parenting or parenting performance). For mothers, distress regarding their role was higher when their ADHD child was inattentive and had oppositional-conduct problems. For fathers, distress was higher when their ADHD child exhibited oppositional or aggressive behaviors.  When parents coped by using more positive reframing (thinking about problems as challenges that might be overcome), they were more satisfied with their role as a mother or father.


            Sandberg, S. T., Wieselberg, M. & Shaffer, D. (1980).  Hyperkinetic and conduct problem children in a primary school population:  Some epidemiological considerations.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 21, 293-311.

Ø  Maternal reports of mental distress were significantly related to their child’s level of hyperactivity.


Parent Role

Anderson, S. (2001). ADHD and the role of parents.  Drug Benefit Trends, 13, 21-24.

Ø  Discusses the additional degree of parenting responsibility that parents who have a child with ADHD need to assume. The author suggests that parents must prepare themselves to deal with people who do not understand ADHD or the need for special accommodations. It is suggested that becoming educated about the disorder should be parents' first proactive step, followed by identifying a team of specialists (health care and educational) to help them and their child. Other issues discussed include labeling, teamwork, record-keeping, the need for positive thinking, homework, medication, and burnout.


Harvey, E. A.  (2000).  Parenting similarity and children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 22, 39-54.

Ø  Children of parents having similar views about child rearing and discipline were found to have fewer disruptive behavior problems. Parenting similarity was also found to be associated with greater marital adjustment, less marital conflict, and lower parenting stress for mothers.


Family Characteristics & Parent-Child Interactions

            Barkley, R. A.  (1985).  The social behavior of hyperactive children:  Developmental changes, drug effects, and situational variation.  In R. McMahon & R. Peters (Eds), Childhood disorders:  Behavioral-developmental approaches (pp. 218-243).  New York:  Brunner/Mazel.

            Barkley, R. A. (1988).  Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity.  In E. J. Mash & L. G. Terdal (Eds), Behavioral assessment of childhood disorders.  (2nd Ed., pp. 69-104).  New York:  Guilford.

            Befera, M. S. & Barkley, R. A. (1985).  Hyperactive and normal girls and boys:  Mother-child interaction, parent psychiatric status and child psychopathology.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26, 439-452.

            Tallmadge, J. M. & Barkley, R.A. (1983).  The interactions of hyperactive and normal boys with their fathers and mothers.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 11, 565-580.

            Tarver-Behring, S., Barkley, R.A., & Karlsson, J. (1985).  The mother-child interactions of hyperactive boys and their normal siblings.  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 55, 202-209.

Ø  A series of studies on parent-child interactions indicating that when parents give their children tasks to accomplish, ADHD children are less compliant with parents’ immediate commands, less able to sustain compliance, and more oppositional.  Parents of ADHD children provide more commands and directives to their children, are more negative and reprimanding, and are less responsive to their children’s general social initiatives than parents of normal children.


            Campbell, S. B. (1975).  Mother-child interaction:  A comparison of hyperactive, learning disabled, and normal boys.  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 45, 835-845.

Ø  Research on social interactions indicates that ADHD children are generally less compliant with parent requests, more off-task and negative, and typically more demanding of help and attention than are normal children or children with learning disabilities.


Chi, T. C., & Hinshaw, S. P. (2002). Mother-child relationships of children with ADHD: The role of maternal depressive symptoms and depression-related distortions.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30, 387-400.

Ø  Mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms were excessively negative in their reports of their child's ADHD symptoms, general behavior problems, and their own negative parenting style.  These negative distortions were also related to problematic parent-child interactions.


Cronin, A. F. (2004). Mothering a child with hidden impairments.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 58,  83-92.

Ø  Mothers of children with ADHD reported little family support, high perception of child-related demands, and less confidence in their success in mothering these children. In describing their daily routines, these mothers often stated that there was no such thing as a "normal" day. They felt constantly "on alert" and did not feel that they had "normal" routines. Based on this study, mothers of children with ADHD felt distress because their child did not easily conform to social standards and were likely to express exhaustion in their role as mother.


Drabick, D. B. G., Gadow, K. D., & Sprafkin, J.  (2006).  Co-occurrence of conduct disorder and depression in a clinic-based sample of boys with ADHD.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47,  766-774.

Ø  Examined potential psychosocial risk factors for conduct disorder and depression in boys with ADHD and found that hostile, inconsistent, and detached parenting behaviors were related to conduct disorder symptoms.  In addition, a family environment characterized by low cohesion, high conflict, and low marital satisfaction was related to conduct disorder and depression symptoms.


Johnston, C., & Mash, E. J.  (2001).  Families of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Review and recommendations for future research.  Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 4, 183-207.

Ø  Integrates and critically evaluates what is known about family characteristics associated with childhood ADHD. Evidence suggests that the presence of ADHD in children is associated to varying degrees with disturbances in family and marital functioning, disrupted parent-child relationships, specific patterns of parental cognitions about child behavior and reduced parenting self-efficacy, and increased levels of parenting stress and parental psychopathology, particularly when ADHD is comorbid with conduct problems.


Lange, G., Sheerin, D., & Carr, A.  (2005).  Family factors associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and emotional disorders in children.  Journal of Family Therapy, 27, 76-96.

Ø  Parents of ADHD children reported higher levels of stress and lower levels of both social support and quality of life than did parents of normal children. Parents of ADHD children also reported higher levels of authoritarian parenting styles and less parenting satisfaction.


            Mash, E. J. & Johnston, C. (1982).  A comparison of mother-child interactions of younger and older hyperactive and normal children.  Child Development, 53, 1371-1381.

Ø  Interaction conflicts appear to be greatest in younger children (4 to 5 year olds).


            Mash, E. J. & Johnston, C. (1983).  Sibling interactions of hyperactive and normal children and their relationship to reports of maternal stress and self-esteem.  Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 12, 91-99.

Ø  Sibling interactions also contribute to feelings of stress in mothers of hyperactive children.


Pfiffner, L. J., & McBurnett, K.  (2006).  Family correlates of comorbid anxiety disorders in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 725-735.

Ø  Having a child diagnosed with both ADHD and an anxiety disorder was significantly associated with maternal anxiety, over-protectiveness, and a lack of positive parenting. These findings are consistent with the theory that links these three family factors to the development of anxiety in all children.


Medication Management

            Barkley, R. A. (1988).  The effects of methylphenidate on the interactions of preschool ADHD children with their mothers.  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 336-341.

Barkley, R. A. (1989).  Hyperactive girls and boys:  Stimulant drug effects on mother-child interactions.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 30, 379-390.

Barkley, R. A., & Cunningham, C. E. (1980).  The parent-child interactions of hyperactive children and their modification by stimulant drugs.  In R. Knights & Bakker (Eds.), Treatment of hyperactive and learning disabled children (pp. 219-236).  Baltimore:  University Park Press.

            Barkley, R. A., Karlsson, J., Pollard, S., & Murphy, J. V. (1985).  Developmental changes in the mother-child interactions of hyperactive boys:  Effects of two dose levels of Ritalin.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26, 705-715.

            Barkley, R. A., Karlsson, J., Strzelecki, E. & Murphy, J. (1984).  Effects of age and Ritalin dosage on the mother-child interactions of hyperactive children.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 52, 750-758.

            Cunningham, C. E. & Barkley, R. A. (1978).  The effects of methylphenidate on the mother-child interactions of hyperactive twin boys.  Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 20, 634-642.

            Humphries, T., Kinsbourne, M., & Swanson, J. (1978).  Stimulant effects on cooperation and social interaction between hyperactive children and their mothers.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19, 13-22.

            Schachar, R., Taylor, E., Wieselberg, M., Thorley, G. & Rutter, M. (1987).  Changes in family functions and relationships in children who respond to methylphenidate.  Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 26, 728-732.

Ø  Children on stimulant medication showed increased compliance and decreased off task behaviors.  As a result, mothers decreased their rates of commands and control over compliance, increased their levels of passive observation and nondirective interactions, increased their expressions of maternal warmth, and decreased their expressions of criticism.


Chronis, A. M., Pelham, W. E., & Gnagy, E. M. (2003). The impact of late-afternoon stimulant dosing for children with ADHD on parent and parent-child domains.  Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32, 118-126.

Ø  Examined the impact of late-afternoon stimulant dosing on parent domains (positive and negative affect, ability to complete tasks) and parent-child domains (pleasantness of parent-child interactions, parents' ability to get children to complete their tasks, and parents' perceptions of their effectiveness in the parenting role).  Findings suggested that doses with beneficial effects lasting into the evening improved parent reports of the pleasantness of parent-child interactions but were not sufficient to produce positive changes in parent functioning.


            Cunningham, C., E., Siegel, L. S., & Offord, D. R. (1985).  A developmental dose-response analysis of the effects of methylphenidate on the peer interactions of attention deficit disordered boys.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26, 955-971.

            Whalen, C. K., Henker, B., & Dotemoto, S. (1981).  Teacher response to the methylphenidate (Ritalin) versus placebo status of hyperactive boys in the classroom.  Child Development, 52, 1005-1014.

Ø  Teachers and normal peers tend to relate in a dominating and controlling manner with ADHD children.  However, similar to the finding with parent-child interactions, the controlling behavior of teachers and peers is reduced with medication.


Behavioral Training Programs

Danforth, J. S., Harvey, E., & Ulaszek, W. R. (2006).  The outcome of group parent training for families of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and defiant/aggressive behavior.  Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 37, 188-205.

Ø  This group parent training reduced childrens' hyperactive, defiant, and aggressive behavior, improved parenting behavior, and reduced parent stress.


            Forehand, R. L. & McMahon, R. J. (1981).  Helping the noncompliant child:  A clinician’s guide to parent training.  New York:  Guilford.

Ø  Suggested that the problem of depression in parents may be especially important because it may adversely affect their responsiveness to behavioral parent training programs.


Ghanizadeh, A., & Shahrivar, F. Z.  (2005).  The effect of parent management training on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 17, 31-34.

Ø  Investigated the effect of Parent Management Training (PMT) on the behavior of children with ADHD and the general mental health of their parents.  They found that conduct problems, learning problems, and hyperactivity all decreased significantly.


Hoath, F. E., & Sanders, M. R.  (2002).  A feasibility study of enhanced group triple-P – positive parenting program for parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  Behaviour Change, 19, 191-206.

Ø  This group parenting program resulted in significant reductions in the intensity of disruptive child behavior problems, reductions in aversive parenting practices, and increases in parental self-efficacy. Parents' reports at 3-month follow-up indicated the gains in child behavior and parenting practices were maintained.


Johnson, B. D., Franklin, L. C., & Hall, K.  (2000).  Parent training through play: Parent-child interaction therapy with a hyperactive child.  The Family Journal, 8, 180-186.

Ø  Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) has been shown to be effective at counseling children with problems ranging from ADHD, separation anxiety, depression, self-injurious behavior, post-divorce adjustment, and abuse.


Treacy, L., Tripp, G., & Baird, A.  (2005).  Parent stress management training for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  Behavior Therapy, 36, 223-233.

Ø  This study assessed the effectiveness of a 9-week parent stress management program (PSM) on the parenting stress, mood, family functioning, parenting style, locus of control, and perceived social support of parents of children diagnosed with ADHD.  Results showed that for mothers, completion of the PSM program was accompanied by significant reductions in parenting stress together with significant improvements in parenting style (verbosity, laxness, overreactivity). For fathers, completion of the program was associated with a reduction in verbosity only.






Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:02  

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