Evidence both from psychological research and clinical intervention studies suggests that there are bidirectional influences between overt child behavior problems and parent-child relations. Very little research however, has considered the pattern of relations that exists between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the parent-child relationship within a longitudinal context. Using a longitudinal community sample from the United Kingdom which included 194 school aged children (46% male and 54% female) and both parents, this study examined the relationship between child ADHD symptoms and displays of rejection in the parent-child relationship.
These relationships were investigated separately for mothers and fathers using cross-lagged panel correlation and reciprocal effects analysis. Mothers and fathers reported on ADHD symptoms and children reported on their feelings of rejection in the mother-child and father-child relationships. Results suggested differences in the direction of effects linking mother- and father-child rejection and child ADHD symptoms; with ADHD symptoms affecting the mother-child relationship and the converse pattern of effects noted for fathers. Implications for future research focusing on the link between ADHD symptoms and parent-child relationships are discussed.