Tackling Parental ADHD to Help Kids

by Chris Carroll | Illustration by Jason A. Keisling

Research has already shown that up to half of all children diagnosed with ADHD have parents with untreated ADHD as well. University of Maryland psychologists now want to determine whether treating parents with the disorder will improve their parenting and help their children with a shared diagnosis.

Funded by a $7 million National Institutes of Mental Health grant, psychology Professor Andrea Chronis-Tuscano and Assistant Clinical Professor Christina Danko are working with pediatricians at Children’s National Health System pediatric satellite clinics and researchers elsewhere to throw a wrench into this intergenerational cycle.

“It can be difficult for a parent to create an organized and consistent environment for their child with ADHD if they themselves struggle with executive functioning difficulties such as time management, planning and organization,” Chronis-Tuscano says.

The study, which involves testing parents for ADHD at the same time as their children, could be a model for addressing other cross-generational mental health issues as well, the researchers say, leading to better health outcomes for the whole family.


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