Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 3338–3345 | Cite as

Conflict between Parents and Adolescents with ADHD: Situational Triggers and the Role of Comorbidity

  • Alexis M. Garcia
  • Dassiell Medina
  • Margaret H. SibleyEmail author
Original Paper



Little is known about factors that contribute to conflict between parents and adolescents with ADHD. The current study examines the frequency and intensity of arguments between adolescents with ADHD and their parents with attention to situational triggers and adolescent and parent characteristics that predict conflict.


Adolescents and parents (N = 128) completed a battery of rating scales at baseline intake into a randomized clinical trial.


The most frequent and clinically significant argument topics identified by parent were homework problems, personal hygiene, and bedtime. Similarly, homework problems were rated by parents as the most intense sources of arguments. Adolescents with ADHD who displayed higher comorbid depressive or aggressive symptoms had the most frequent arguments with their parents.


Intervention and prevention programs targeting conflict between teens with ADHD and their parents might consider concurrent treatment of argument sources (i.e., disorganization, homework problems). Comorbid mood and behavior problems should also be addressed.


Adolescence ADHD Familial conflict Comorbidity Parenting 



The research reported here was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; R34 MH092466). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of NIMH.


This study was funded by NIMH (R34 MH092466).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle Children’s HospitalSeattleUSA

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