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Having ADHD Child Doubles Divorce Odds

Having a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder doubles your chances of divorcing before that child is eight years old, according to a new study from the University of Buffalo.

ADHD, which affects five percent of American children, has symptoms of hyperactivity, poor impulse control, and poor concentration.

Dr. William Peham and his colleagues examined statistics on 282 parents of teens and young adults with ADHD, and 206 parents of older adolescents without the disorder. He used the children's birth date, not the date of the marriage, to compare the two groups.

About 23 percent of the parents of ADHD children divorced by the time their child was eight years old, compared to only 12.6 percent of the control group. If the child had comorbidities such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder, the risk of divorce was even higher. Once the child turned eight, however, the divorce rate for both groups was not significantly different.

"We know that ADHD children can be very stressful for their parents," Dr. Peham said. He believes that having an ADHD child may cause parents to argue about parenting techniques. Parents should be aware that the symptoms of ADHD often improve as the child grows older, Dr. Peham said, and it may be helpful for them to "think long-term."

This study appeared in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Labels: parents, divorce, strains

Posted By: Aspen Education Group