Predicting family quality of life in parents of children with elevated symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

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Romaniuk, Alyssa
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Parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are at high risk for elevated levels of parenting stress. Given that parenting stress and family quality of life (FQOL) are inversely-related, it is surprising that research examining FQOL in ADHD populations is absent in the literature. In the present study, 145 parents of children (n =105 mothers and n = 40 fathers), ages 5 to 12 years, with elevated symptoms of ADHD from Canada and the United States completed an online survey. The current study compared FQOL among coupled mothers and fathers (n = 13), examined the relationship between FQOL and parenting stress in mothers and fathers, and examined child and parental factors that predict FQOL in mothers and fathers. A paired samples t-test failed to show differences in FQOL among coupled mothers and fathers. Pearson correlations revealed negative correlations between FQOL and parenting stress in both mothers and fathers, however this result was only significant for mothers. Parental social support was the strongest predictor of FQOL in both mothers and fathers. The results of this study suggest that social support should be considered in development of interventions for families of children with elevated symptoms of ADHD. Future research should continue to examine fathers and couples’ perspectives given the small sample size in this study.
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, family quality of life, parenting stress, social support