Does Child Anxiety Exacerbate or Protect Against Parent–Child Relationship Difficulties in Children with Elevated ADHD Symptoms?
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment | Uitgave 4/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
Pediatric ADHD is associated with parent–child relationship difficulties. However, the extent to which these relations are attributable to specific ADHD symptom clusters (i.e., inattentive vs. hyperactive/impulsive), and the extent to which child anxiety symptoms may exacerbate or protect against these difficulties, remains unclear. To address these gaps in the literature, the current study combined multi-informant measures (parent, teacher, child) with a clinically-evaluated and carefully-phenotyped sample of 188 children with and without ADHD and anxiety (ages 8–13; 63 girls). Results indicated that child-reported anxiety (β = .46) and teacher-reported inattentive (β = .71) symptoms, and their interaction (β = -1.06), along with child age and IQ (β = -.14 to -.15), predict the extent to which parents perceive themselves as confident and competent parents (all p < .05). In contrast, only comorbid oppositional-defiant disorder conferred risk for increased parent-reported relational frustration, and we were unable to detect any reliable child-level demographic, diagnostic, or behavioral predictors of parent-reported discipline practices. These findings were robust to control for child demographic characteristics, clinical diagnoses, and intellectual functioning, with sensitivity analyses highlighting the importance of assessing ADHD inattentive vs. hyperactive/impulsive symptoms separately for understanding parenting outcomes. Taken together, the current findings suggest that child ADHD and anxiety symptoms may influence specific rather than broad-based aspects of the parent–child relationship, and produce differently valenced outcomes in the presence vs. absence of the other condition. Interestingly, it appears that the combination of greater child inattention and anxiety, rather than elevations in either symptom domain independently, predict adverse parenting outcomes in terms of reduced parental confidence.