When studying psychology one of the concepts you are introduced to is socially sensitive research. This covers anything where the findings may be disturbing or may be misrepresented to support a political or social agenda. The classic example of this is race and intelligence, where studies show that on average white people have higher IQ’s than black people. (Which just proves that IQ tests are only good for measuring how good you are at IQ tests and not your intelligence).
A socially sensitive area in educational problems is the role parents play in their children’s problems. On the one hand parents should not be guilt ridden because, potentially, their genes and / or behavior has lead to their children’s problem. On the other hand, parents are massively influential on their children and what, if any, role they play in the development of the problem needs to be understood.
This lengthy article looks at research into the role parents have in their children’s ADHD. They found that many of the parents exhibited ADHD symptoms themselves which made it hard for them to be consistent in managing their children. It also looked at how the parents communicated with their children and the role parenting skills.
Results from this study have several important implications. First, they highlight the potential value of assessing ADHD symptoms in parents when their child is being evaluated for ADHD. ADHD is known to be more common in parents who have a child with ADHD and may not have previously been diagnosed. This study indicates that in such situations, parents’ ADHD symptoms can undermine the effectiveness of their parenting and the benefit they derive from working on their parenting skills. Treating ADHD symptoms in parents may thus be an important component of effectively managing ADHD in children, not to mention the benefits such treatment may have for parents independent of their parenting role.
So if you do have a child suffering from ADHD its worth considering your own habits. Do you have ADHD style behaviors that you can learn to control and do you need to improve your own parenting skills?