The importance of parental knowledge in the association between ADHD symptomatology and related domains of impairment

Tycho J. Dekkers*, Hilde M. Huizenga, Jente Bult, Arne Popma, Bianca E. Boyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Parents of children with ADHD experience several difficulties while raising their children and report lower levels of knowledge about their children’s life and behaviors. A recent study found that low levels of parental knowledge mediated the association between ADHD symptoms and risk-taking behavior (RTB) in adolescents. The current study aimed to investigate this previous finding further by replicating it, by taking peer influence into account as additional social factor of importance and by extending it and also investigate the role of parental knowledge in the association between ADHD symptoms and homework problems. Three studies were performed: study 1 (N=234) replicated previous work on parental knowledge mediating the association between ADHD symptoms and RTB, study 2 (pre-registered, N=313) added peer influence, and study 3 (pre-registered, N=315) assessed whether parental knowledge mediated the association between ADHD symptoms and homework behavior. Parental knowledge consistently mediated the association between ADHD symptoms on one hand and RTB and homework problems on the other, and also predicted stronger resistance to peer influence. Because parental knowledge was repeatedly linked to ADHD-related problems, it seems promising to include parental knowledge in treatment of ADHD-related problems in adolescents, by improving the parent-child relationship. Future studies should test more directly how improvement of the parent-child relationship can be used to optimize parental knowledge, which in its turn reduces ADHD-related problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

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