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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31863

Title: Are Executive Function Difficulties Reported by Parents and Teachers Associated with Elevated Levels of Parenting Stress for Children Diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, with and without Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
Authors: McLuckie, Alan
Advisor: Mishna, Faye
Department: Social Work
Keywords: Parenting Stress
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Executive Function Difficulties
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Issue Date: 10-Jan-2012
Abstract: Parents raising children with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience high levels of parenting stress, especially when ADHD is accompanied by comorbid Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ADHD/ODD). Children with ADHD experience difficulties with their executive functions in such areas as inhibition control, working memory, and emotional regulation. Despite evidence linking ADHD with parenting stress, and ADHD with executive function difficulties (EFDs), there is little research exploring whether EFDs within an ADHD population are associated with parenting stress. This dissertation’s main objective is to determine whether parent-reported and teacher-reported childhood EFDs are associated with elevated levels of parenting stress. A secondary data analysis was completed on a cross-section of parent and teacher completed psychiatric assessment measures for children (n=243) diagnosed with ADHD. Measures included the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, the Conners’ Parent Rating Scale and the Parenting Stress Index, Long Form. A number of important findings were produced; key of which was the finding that a strong association exists between parent-reported EFDs and Child Domain parenting stress. Consistent with prior ADHD research, difficulties with emotional control and inhibition were found to be potent predictors of Child Domain parenting stress. To a lesser degree, children’s difficulties with initiation and self-monitoring were associated with Child Domain parenting stress, suggesting that daily hassles pose challenges for parents, especially when the child attends a new school. Also important was the finding that parent-reported oppositionality partially mediated the relationship between EFDs with emotional control, inhibition and shift, and Child Domain parenting stress. Despite teachers’ reports that children displayed more severe behaviours than were reported by parents, teacher-reported EFDs were not significantly associated with Child Domain parenting stress, with a few exceptions. Although not a well-explored concept within the literature on ADHD and parenting stress, parental acceptance of the child emerged as source of Child Domain parenting stress and a potential focus for assessment and treatment. Findings from the current study suggest that early identification and intervention with emotional control difficulties and ODD are vital due to their strong association with clinically significant levels of Child Domain parenting stress.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31863
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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