Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 555–569

Preschoolers at Risk for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Family, Parenting, and Behavioral Correlates


DOI: 10.1023/A:1020855429085

Cite this article as:
Cunningham, C.E. & Boyle, M.H. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2002) 30: 555. doi:10.1023/A:1020855429085


This community study assigned 129 4-year-olds to groups at risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), both ADHD and ODD, or no problems. Mothers of children at risk for ODD reported more family dysfunction, felt less competent as parents, suggested fewer solutions to child behavior problems, demonstrated a less assertive approach to child management, and reported more child internalizing problems than did mothers of children not elevated on ODD symptoms. Mothers of children at risk for ADHD reported higher personal depression scores than did those of the non-ADHD subgroup. Children at risk for ADHD evidenced the most difficulties in school where teachers reported more social behavior, classroom management, and internalizing problems relative to other children not at risk for ADHD. When solving child management problems, mothers of children in all groups suggested twice as many controlling/negative management strategies as positive/preventive strategies. In addition, faced with oppositional and conduct problems, mothers of children in all groups increased controlling/negative suggestions and decreased positive/preventive suggestions. Mothers of girls at risk for ADHD, ODD, and ADHD/ODD gave more rewards per positive behavior than did mothers of boys.

ADHD oppositional defiant disorder preschoolers family functioning 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hamilton Health SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Canadian Centre for the Study of Children at RiskMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural NeurosciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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