A controversial new study has found that parents who have children with an ADHD diagnosis are almost twice as likely to divorce by the time their kids are 8 years old as those without the diagnosis in the family. Families were recruited via a summer treatment program for ADHD. The researchers clarified that childhood ADHD doesn’t cause parental divorce, but it may add to existing stress. In addition, there is evidence that ADHD can be inherited, suggesting that parents of children with the disorder may have similar difficulties. Among a subset of the families with ADHD, paternal conduct problems, and oppositional behaviour and conduct problems exhibited by the child (among other factors) were predictive of marital problems.
Other studies have found no difference in divorce rates of parents who have kids with or without the diagnosi. It is possible that the families in the current study, who were involved in treatment, were experiencing more significant difficulties. The researchers suggested that families who have young children with ADHD might benefit from couples therapy in addition to treatment of their child’s behavioural difficulties.
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