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Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2014 May;42(3):147-55. doi: 10.1024/1422-4917/a000284.

[Associations with ADHD and parental distress with in play in early childhood].

[Article in German; Abstract available in German from the publisher]

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Kinderklinik München Schwabing, Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin, Klinikum Schwabing und Klinikum Rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München.


in English, German


According to Papoušek (2004), "disinterests in play" in early childhood is a possible early indicator of AD(H)D at school age. The phenomenon of disinterest in play is associated with psychological distress in parents and children as well as with disturbances in the parent-child-relationships Papoušek, 2003. We investigated the association between disinterest in play in early childhood and AD(H)D and their associations with maternal distress.


Mothers of 35 children with AD(H)D [age: M (SD)= 9.0 (1.1) years; males: 30 (85.7 %)] and mothers of 42 children without AD(H)D [age: M (SD) = 8.8 (1.0) years; males: 35 (83.3 %)] gave their written informed consent to participate in the study. Using a questionnaire on the ability to play during the first 4 years of age, subjects were grouped into 39 children with lower interest in play and 38 children with higher interest in play. Maternal stress was assessed using a German adaptation of the Parenting Stress Index Abidin, 1995.


The rate of AD(H)D and maternal stress was significantly higher in the group of children with lower interest in play. Mothers of children showing both AD(H)D and lower interest in play scored highest, mothers of children presenting neither behavior disorder scored lowest.


The results agree with the assumption that disinterest in play in early childhood is associated with the development of AD(H)D and an additional stressor for mothers.


ADHD; ADHS; disinterest in play in early childhood; elterliche Stressbelastung; frühkindliche Spielunlust; parental distress

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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