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Dev Psychol. 2007 Jan;43(1):70-82.

Maternal depression and early positive parenting predict future conduct problems in young children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for adverse outcomes such as substance abuse and criminality, particularly if they develop conduct problems. Little is known about early predictors of the developmental course of conduct problems among children with ADHD, however. Parental psychopathology and parenting were assessed in 108 children who first met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) criteria for ADHD at 4-7 years old. When demographic variables and baseline ADHD and conduct problems were controlled, maternal depression predicted conduct problems 2-8 years following the initial assessment, whereas positive parenting during the structured parent- child interaction task predicted fewer future conduct problems. These findings suggest that maternal depression is a risk factor, whereas early positive parenting is a protective factor, for the developmental course of conduct problems among children with ADHD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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