The Moderating Roles of Age and Parenting on ADHD

The latest clinical news in diagnosing and treating ADHD.

A study published recently in the Journal of Attention Disorders examined the associations between symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and social and school adjustment (academic performance, peer relationships, school social problems) and the moderating roles of children’s age and maternal parenting (affection and overprotection) in these associations.

The sample consisted of 2,463 students who were in the first to ninth grade in northern Taiwan, according to researchers from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC. They found that results from the linear mixed models demonstrated that ADHD symptoms were inversely associated with academic performance and positively associated with social adjustment problems.

In addition, children’s age and maternal parenting moderated the associations between ADHD symptoms and school and social adjustment. “For example, maternal overprotection moderated the relation between hyperactivity and negative peer relationships (ie, difficulty forming and maintaining friendships), such that this relation was stronger for children who experienced higher levels of overprotection than children who did not. Moreover, children’s age moderated the association between attention problems and decreased academic performance, such that this association was stronger for older children and adolescents than for younger children,” the authors wrote in the study abstract.

In addition, the researchers found that children’s ages and maternal affection interacted to influence the association between attention problems and school social problems such as bullying, aggression, and peer rejection with maternal affection acting as a buffer for older children (grades four to six) only.

Therapeutic Summer Camp for Children with ADHD

A therapeutic summer day camp is effective in improving attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, peer relationships, and overall functioning of children, according to a study published online ahead of print recently in the Journal of Attention Disorders.

The objective of the study, which was conducted by researchers at McGill University in Montreal, was to evaluate the effectiveness of a two-week therapeutic summer day camp for children with ADHD, which included a social skills training program and parent psychoeducation and training program. The study was an open-label, nonrandomized phase I clinical intervention trial.

“Parents completed the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale (WFIRS) and the Conners’ Global Index-Parent Version (CGI-P), and children completed the Index of Peer Relations (IPR). All questionnaires were completed prior to the camp and three weeks after starting school. A total of 33 children who attended the camp were compared with a group of 15 children with ADHD who did not attend camp,” the researchers wrote in the study abstract.

“CGI-P, IPR, and WFIRS significantly improved in the group that attended the camp, but not in the control group. Effect sizes were between 0.7 and 1.6.”

SourcesSymptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Social and School Adjustment: The Moderating Roles of Age and Parenting [Journal of Attention Disorders]Effectiveness of a Therapeutic Summer Camp for Children with ADHD: Phase I Clinical Intervention Trial [Journal of Attention Disorders]