Parenting Practices and Prospective Levels of Hyperactivity/Inattention Across Early- and Middle-Childhood
This study examined specific parenting practices as predictors of prospective levels of children’s hyperactivity/inattention across early- and middle-childhood. Participants were a mixed-sex community cohort (N = 976; 52 % boys) aged 4–10 years (M = 6.5, SD = 1.3). Measures of parenting practices, hyperactivity/inattention, conduct problems, and maternal education were collected at baseline, and hyperactivity/inattention re-assessed at 12-month follow-up. Analyses examined predictors of 12-month hyperactivity/inattention while controlling for levels at baseline. High levels of parental involvement were associated with reduced levels of hyperactivity/inattention, but only across early childhood. Conversely, increases in child age were associated with increased levels of hyperactivity/inattention across middle-childhood, but only among children exposed to high levels of inconsistent discipline. Inconsistent discipline and parental involvement appear to be uniquely associated with prospective hyperactivity/inattention across childhood, independent of associated conduct problems. Our results further suggest some developmental specificity with regard to the effects of these distinct dimensions of parenting on hyperactivity/inattention at different points in childhood.