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Family impact and parenting styles in families of children with ADHD.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) begins in childhood and is characterized by attention deficits, hyperactivity, or impulsiveness that is inconsistent with a child’s developmental level. The effects of ADHD are not limited to the child alone but can affect their familial context, particularly parenting styles. Using data from 68 parents of 6–11-year-old ADHD-diagnosed children, we attempted to identify the predictive variables of two parenting styles: criticism-rejection and permissiveness-indulgence.

We analyzed two complex predictive models using structural equation modeling. We hypothesized that family impact variables would mediate the relation between the child’s behavior and parenting. The data showed that the child’s ADHD was only indirectly related to parenting styles, whereas child’s behavior problems had a direct relationship. The results stressed the central role of the child’s behavior on family social life, parents’ marital relationship, and parents’ feelings about their children. These variables mediated the relationship between the children’s disorders and parenting styles. On the other hand, perceived social support had an inverse relationship with this negative family impact, and it even had relevant indirect effects on criticism and permissiveness.

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