Special Education

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

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
Law & Courts Webinar
Future of the First Amendment:Exploring Trends in High School Students’ Views of Free Speech
Learn how educators are navigating student free speech issues and addressing controversial topics like gender and race in the classroom.
Content provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

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 What the Research Says Federal Special Ed. Funding Is Woefully Inequitable, New Studies Show
Outdated funding formulas continue to widen gaps that shortchange students with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, researchers say.
5 min read
A paraprofessional guides a student back to his gym class while participating in remote learning at his home in Wharton, N.J.
Paraprofessional Jessica Wein guides Josh Nazzaro back to his gym class while participating in remote learning at his home in Wharton, N.J., in 2020. New research adds to long-standing critiques of federal funding for special education.
Seth Wenig/AP
Special Education What Do Schools Owe Students With Disabilities? Feds Plan to Update Regulations
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Comments are open for suggested changes.
2 min read
A boy writes at a desk in a classroom.
gorodenkoff/iStock/Getty
Special Education L.A. Agrees to Do More After Failing on Special Education. Could Other Districts Be Next?
The district failed to meet the needs of students with disabilities during the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education found.
6 min read
Conceptual image of supporting students.
Illustration by Laura Baker/Education Week (Source images: DigitalVision Vectors and iStock/Getty)
Special Education Protect Students With Disabilities as COVID Rules Ease, Education Secretary Tells Schools
Even as schools drop precautions like mask requirements, they must by law protect medically vulnerable students, a letter emphasizes.
3 min read
Image of a student holding a mask and a backpack near the entrance of a classroom.
E+