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01-01-2015 | Uitgave 1/2015

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 1/2015

Maternal Emotion Regulation Mediates the Association Between Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms and Parenting

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 1/2015
Auteurs:
Heather Mazursky-Horowitz, Julia W. Felton, Laura MacPherson, Katherine B. Ehrlich, Jude Cassidy, C. W. Lejuez, Andrea Chronis-Tuscano

Abstract

Mothers with elevated Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms demonstrate parenting deficits, as well as difficulties in emotion regulation (ER), which may further impact their ability to effectively parent. However, no empirical research has examined potential mediators that explain the relations between maternal ADHD symptoms and parenting. This prospective longitudinal study examined difficulties with ER as a mediator of the relation between adult ADHD symptoms and parenting among 234 mothers of adolescents recruited from the community when they were between the ages of nine to twelve. Maternal ratings of adult ADHD symptoms, difficulties with ER, and parenting responses to their adolescents’ expressions of negative emotions were collected over the course of three years. We found that maternal ADHD symptoms were negatively associated with positive parenting responses to adolescents’ negative emotions, and positively associated with harsh parenting and maternal distress reactions. Moreover, maternal ER mediated the relation between adult ADHD symptoms and harsh parenting responses, while controlling for adolescent ADHD and disruptive behavior symptoms. However, maternal ER did not mediate the relation between ADHD symptoms and positive or distressed parental responses. Thus, it appears that ER is one mechanism by which maternal ADHD symptoms are associated with harsh responses to their adolescents’ expressions of negative emotion. These findings may have downstream implications for adolescent adjustment.

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