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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008 Oct;76(5):735-44. doi: 10.1037/a0012719.

Rate and predictors of divorce among parents of youths with ADHD.

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  • 1Center for Children and Families, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, NY, USA.


Numerous studies have asserted the prevalence of marital conflict among families of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but evidence is surprisingly less convincing regarding whether parents of youths with ADHD are more at risk for divorce than are parents of children without ADHD. Using survival analyses, the authors compared the rate of marital dissolution between parents of adolescents and young adults with and without ADHD. Results indicated that parents of youths diagnosed with ADHD in childhood (n = 282) were more likely to divorce and had a shorter latency to divorce compared with parents of children without ADHD (n = 206). Among a subset of those families of youths with ADHD, prospective analyses indicated that maternal and paternal education level; paternal antisocial behavior; and child age, race/ethnicity, and oppositional-defiant/conduct problems each uniquely predicted the timing of divorce between parents of youths with ADHD. These data underscore how parent and child variables likely interact to exacerbate marital discord and, ultimately, dissolution among families of children diagnosed with ADHD.

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