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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Belsky, J., Jonassaint, C., Pluess, M., Stanton, M., Brummett, B., & Williams, R. (2009). Vulnerability genes or plasticity genes. Molecular Psychiatry, 14(8), 746–754.
Burns, G. L., & Walsh, J. A. (2002). The Influence of ADHD-hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms on the development of oppositional defiant disorder symptoms in a two year longitudinal study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30, 245–256.
Carlson, E. A., Jacobvitz, D., & Sroufe, L. A. (1995). A developmental investigation of inattentiveness and hyperactivity. Child Development, 66, 37–54.
Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression / correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.
Costello, E. J., Foley, D. L., & Angold, A. (2006). 10-year research update review: the epidemiology of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders: II. Developmental Epidemiology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 45, 8–25.
Dadds, M. R., Maujean, A., & Fraser, J. A. (2003). Parenting and conduct problems in children: Australian data and psychometric properties of the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire. Australian Psychologist, 38, 238–241.
Deault, L. (2010). A systematic review of parenting in relation to the development of comorbidities and functional impairments in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 41, 168–192.
Dishion, T., & Stormshak, E. (2007). Intervening in children’s lives: an ecological, family-centered approach to mental health care. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Ellis, B., & Nigg, J. (2009). Parenting practices and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: new findings suggest partial specificity of effects. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 48, 146–154.
Faraone, S. V., Perlis, R. H., Doyle, A. E., Smoller, J. W., Goralnick, J. J., Holmgren, M. A., et al. (2005). Molecular genetics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 57(11), 1313–1323.
Freitag, C. M., Hänig, S., Schneider, A., Seitz, C., Palmason, H., Retz, W., & Meyer, J. (2013). Biological and psychosocial environmental risk factors influence symptom severity and psychiatric comorbidity in children with ADHD. Journal of Neural Transmission.
Gadeyne, E., Ghesquiere, P., & Onghena, P. (2004). Longitudinal relations between parenting and child adjustment in young children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 347–358.
Gjone, H., Stevenson, J., & Sundet, J. M. (1996). Genetic influence on parent-reported attention-related problems in a Norwegian general-population twin sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 588–596.
Goodman, R. (1997). The strengths and difficulties questionnaire: a research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 581–586.
Greven, C. U., Asherson, P., Rijsdijk, F. V., & Plomin, R. (2011). A longitudinal twin study on the association between inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39(5), 623–632.
Hart, E. L., Lahey, B. B., Loeber, R., Applegate, B., Green, S., & Frick, P. (1995). Developmental change in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in boys: a four-year longitudinal study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 23(6), 729–749.
Hawes, D. J., & Dadds, M. R. (2004). Australian data and psychometric properties of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 38, 644–651.
Hawes, D. J., & Dadds, M. R. (2005). Oppositional and conduct problems. In J. Hudson & R. Rapee (Eds.), Current thinking on psychopathology and the family (pp. 73–91). New York: Elsevier.
Hawes, D. J., & Dadds, M. R. (2006). Assessing parenting practices through parent-report and direct observation during parent-training. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(5), 555–568.
Hawes, D. J., Dadds, M. R., Frost, A. D. J., & Hasking, P. A. (2011). Do childhood callous-unemotional traits drive change in parenting practices? Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40(4), 1–12.
Hinshaw, S. P. (2006). Treatment for children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In P. C. Kendall (Ed.), Child and adolescent therapy: cognitive-behavioral procedures (3rd ed., pp. 82–113). New York: The Guilford Press.
Holmbeck, G. N. (2002). Post-hoc probing of significant moderational and mediational effects in studies of pediatric populations. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27, 87–96.
Johnston, C. (1996). Parent characteristics and parent–child interactions in families of nonproblem children and ADHD children with higher and lower levels of oppositional-defiant behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 24, 85–105.
Johnston, C., & Mash, E. J. (2001). Families of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: review and recommendations for future research. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 4, 183–207.
Keown, L. J. (2013). Predictors of boys’ ADHD symptoms from early to middle childhood: The role of father–child and mother–child interactions. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
Larsson, H., Dilshad, R., Lichtenstein, P., & Barker, E. D. (2011). Developmental trajectories of DSM-IV symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: genetic effects, family risk and associated psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52(9), 954–963.
Levy, F., Hay, D. A., McStephen, M., Wood, C. H., & Waldman, I. (1997). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a category or a continuum? Genetic analysis of a large-scale twin study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36(6), 737–744.
Lifford, K., Harold, G., & Thapar, A. (2008). Parent–child relationships and ADHD symptoms: a longitudinal analysis. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 285–296.
Lifford, K. J., Harold, G. T., & Thapar, A. (2009). Parent–child hostility and child ADHD symptoms: a genetically sensitive and longitudinal analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(12), 1468–1476.
Martel, M. M., Nikolas, M., Jernigan, K., Friderici, K., Waldman, I., & Nigg, J. T. (2011). The dopamine receptor D4 Gene (DRD4) moderates family environmental effects on ADHD. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 1–10.
Marzocchi, G. M., Capron, C., Di Pietro, M., Duran Tauleria, E., Duyme, M., Frigerio, A., et al. (2004). The use of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) in southern european countries. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 13(Suppl 2), 40–46.
McMahon, R. J., & Frick, P. J. (2007). Conduct and oppositional disorders. In E. J. Mash & R. A. Barkley (Eds.), Assessment of childhood disorders (4th ed., pp. 132–183). New York: Guilford.
Nigg, J. T., Hinshaw, S. P., & Huang-Pollock, C. (2006). Disorders of attention and impulse regulation. In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology, vol.3: risk, disorder, and adaptation (2nd ed., pp. 358–403). Hoboken: Wiley.
Pennington, B. F., McGrath, L. M., Rosenberg, J., Barnard, H., Smith, S. D., Willcutt, E. G., et al. (2009). Gene x environment interactions in reading disability and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Developmental Psychology, 45(1), 77–89.
Peris, T. S., & Baker, B. L. (2000). Applications of the expressed emotion construct to young children with externalizing behavior: Stability and prediction over time. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 457–462.
Robbers, S. C., van Oort, F. V., Polderman, T. J., Bartels, M., Boomsma, D. I., Verhulst, F. C., et al. (2011). Trajectories of CBCL attention problems in childhood. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 20(8), 419–427.
Rothbart, M. K., & Posner, M. I. (2006). Temperament, attention, and developmental psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti & D. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: vol. 2. Developmental neuroscience (2nd ed., pp. 465–501). New York: Wiley.
Shelton, K. K., Frick, P. J., & Wootton, J. (1996). The assessment of parenting practices in families of elementary school-aged children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 25, 317–327.
Sonuga-Barke, E. J. (2005). Causal models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: from common simple deficits to multiple development pathways. Biological Psychiatry, 57, 1231–1328.
Stone, L. L., Otten, R., Engels, R. C. M. E., Vermulst, A. A., & Janssens, J. M. A. M. (2010). Psychometric properties of the parent and teacher versions of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire for 4–12 year-olds: a review. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 13, 254–274.
Task Force on Research Diagnostic Criteria: Infancy and Preschool. (2003). Research diagnostic criteria for infants and preschool children: the process and empirical support. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 42(12), 1504–1512.
Willoughby, M. T. (2003). Developmental course of ADHD symptomatology during the transition from childhood to adolescence: a review with recommendations. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44(1), 88–106.
About this article
Cite this article
Hawes, D.J., Dadds, M.R., Frost, A.D.J. et al. Parenting Practices and Prospective Levels of Hyperactivity/Inattention Across Early- and Middle-Childhood. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 35, 273–282 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-013-9341-x
- Parenting Practices