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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2010 Aug;38(6):721-36. doi: 10.1007/s10802-010-9393-2.

Parental influence on children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: I. Relationships between parent behaviors and child peer status.

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  • 1University of Virginia, 102 Gilmer Hall Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400, USA. mikami@virginia.edu


We examined associations between children's peer relationships and (a) their parents' social competence as well as (b) their parents' behaviors during the children's peer interactions. Participants were families of 124 children ages 6-10 (68% male), 62 with ADHD and 62 age- and sex-matched comparison youth. Children's peer relationships were assessed via parent and teacher report, and sociometric nominations in a lab-based playgroup. Parental characteristics were assessed via parent self-report and observations of behavior during their child's playgroup. After statistical control of relevant covariates, parents of children with ADHD reported poorer social skills of their own, arranged fewer playdates for their children, and displayed more criticism during their child's peer interaction than did parents of comparison youth. Parents' socialization with other parents and facilitation of the child's peer interactions predicted their children having good peer relationships as reported by teachers and peers, whereas parental corrective feedback to the child and praise predicted poor peer relationships. Parents' ratings of their child's social skills were positively associated with ratings of their own social skills, but negatively associated with criticism and facilitation of the child's peer interactions. Relationships between parental behaviors and peer relationships were stronger for youth with ADHD than for comparison youth. The relevance of findings to interventions is discussed.

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