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Maternal ADHD symptoms, personality, and parenting stress: differences between mothers of children with ADHD and mothers of comparison children.

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  • Guillermo Perez Algorta
  • Carolyn A. Kragh
  • L. Eugene Arnold
  • Brooke S. G. Molina
  • Stephen P. Hinshaw
  • James M. Swanson
  • Lily Hetchman
  • LaRae M. Copley
  • Matthew Lowe
  • Peter S. Jensen
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Attention Disorders
Issue number13
Volume22
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1266-1277
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date18/12/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Objective: Mothers raising a child with ADHD can experience high parenting stress. We evaluated if mothers’ personality traits and own ADHD symptoms could also affect parenting stress. Method: 430 biological mothers from the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA mothers) and 237 of a local normative comparison group (LNCG mothers) were evaluated at baseline. Interactions were tested between mothers’ group and maternal personality/ADHD symptoms related to parenting stress. Results: Compared to LNCG, MTA mothers had higher parenting stress, self-reported ADHD, neuroticism, and lower conscientiousness and agreeableness. When personality and ADHD were evaluated together, ADHD symptoms interacted with mothers’ group: high maternal ADHD was positively associated with parenting stress for LNCG but not MTA mothers. Conclusion: Personality traits or ADHD characteristics do not appear operative for the high parenting stress of mothers of a child with ADHD. However, high maternal ADHD or low conscientiousness are associated with stress levels similar to raising a child with ADHD.