Special Education

Research Report: Special Education

February 18, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Parents and ADHD

Parents of many children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should themselves be treated for the same condition, a recent study says.

Researchers at the University of Maryland College Park found that parents of children with the condition are 24 times more likely to have the disorder themselves than parents of children without ADHD.

In the study, published in the December 2003 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, researchers at the ADHD program in the university’s psychology department evaluated 98 children ages 3 to 7 with ADHD and 116 without the disorder, along with their parents. The participants are part of a 10-year study following the long-term progress of children with ADHD who were originally recruited at the universities of Chicago and Pittsburgh.

Researchers used psychological tests to measure both the parents’ and children’s behavioral and mental-health problems and ADHD symptoms.

The study also found that when preschoolers with ADHD suffer from other serious behavioral problems, their parents are two to five times more likely to themselves suffer from a wide range of mental-health problems, including depression, anxiety, and drug addictions.

The parents’ problems may prevent them from taking an active or supportive enough role in the treatment of their children’s disorders, said Andrea Chronis, the study’s lead author and the director of the ADHD program at the University of Maryland.

“When you have a child who has ADHD, it is so important for us to look more broadly at what is going on with the parents,” Ms. Chronis said. “We know when parents have psychological problems it can negatively impact the benefits of treatment for their child.”

About 2 million school-age youngsters in the United States have ADHD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The condition, which is characterized by hyperactivity, short attention spans, and impulsive behavior, can interfere with a child’s education.

“This study is in no way blaming the parent,” Ms. Chronis emphasized. “We just have to ask ourselves how can we assess and treat the whole family unit.”

—Lisa Goldstein

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education The Pros and Cons of AI in Special Education
AI can make special educators' jobs easier by handling paperwork and serving as an adaptive tool. But there are privacy and other concerns.
9 min read
Student being assisted by AI
Nicole Xu for Education Week
Special Education From Our Research Center What Happens for High Schoolers Who Need More Than 4 Years?
Districts work to serve older students longer than four years to plan for a changing career world.
6 min read
Older student facing the city, younger version is being swept away.
Nicole Xu for Education Week
Special Education These Grants Could Help Students With Disabilities Access Jobs, Training
The Ed. Dept. is investing $236 million to help with transitions to careers and post-secondary education.
3 min read
Collage of a woman in a wheelchair on a road leading to a large dollar sign. In the woman's hair is a ghosted photo of hands on a laptop.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week + Getty
Special Education Download DOWNLOADABLE: Does Your School Use These 10 Dimensions of Student Belonging?
These principles are designed to help schools move from inclusion of students with disabilities in classrooms to true belonging.
1 min read
Image of a group of students meeting with their teacher. One student is giving the teacher a high-five.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva