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Are Some Symptoms of ADHD Caused by Parental Criticism?

February 19th, 2016

A majority of children who have symptoms of ADHD tend to see their symptoms slowly lessen as they get older but this is not always the case, and when these symptoms persist as the child grows older one cause may be parental criticism according to the latest research study. Lead study author and Florida International University assistant professor of psychology Erica Musser, Ph.D. said “Why ADHD symptoms decline in some children as they reach adolescence and not for others is an important phenomenon to be better understood. The finding here is that children with ADHD whose parents regularly expressed high levels of criticism over time were less likely to experience this decline in symptoms.” The results of the study were published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

The recent study on parental criticism and persistent symptoms of ADHD shows that there is a link but this does not mean that causation is shown by the study results. According to Dr. Musser “The novel finding here is that children with ADHD whose families continued to express high levels of criticism over time failed to experience the usual decline in symptoms with age and instead maintained persistent, high levels of ADHD symptoms. “We cannot say, from our data, that criticism is the cause of the sustained symptoms. Interventions to reduce parental criticism could lead to a reduction in ADHD symptoms, but other efforts to improve the severe symptoms of children with ADHD could also lead to a reduction in parental criticism, creating greater well-being in the family over time.”

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