Parenting style influences social competence in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Researchers at the University of California/Berkeley and Michigan State University investigated characteristics that predict social rejection for boys with ADHD. Aggressive and uncooperative behavior was not a strong predictor of peer rejection for children with ADHD. Attractiveness, academic achievement, IQ and athletic skills did not, by themselves, lead to acceptance. Parenting style, however, did appear to affect ADHD children’s success with their peers. Negative discipline styles characterized by harsh parental control and poor parental monitoring were associated with boys’ social rejection. In contrast, authoritative parenting combining clear, firm structuring and limit setting with warmth and responsiveness appears to help boys with ADHD gain social acceptance. Researchers suggest that a child’s long-standing temperamental difficulties may strain parents’ abilities to respond warmly while maintaining firm, clear limits.

Child Development, October 1997, Volume 68, Number 5, pp. 880-896.

Published in ERN March 1998 Volume 11 Number 3

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