Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for numerous social, psychological, and academic challenges. Negative behaviors can draw unwanted attention to children with ADHD and make them feel like they are different than their peers. These patterns continue into adolescence and can cause kids to gravitate to other teens with less than desirable behaviors. Many kids with ADHD struggle with socialization because of their impulsive and hyperactive behaviors and often find themselves accepted only by other teens who exhibit the same type of risk-taking and impulsive behaviors. Substance use, and alcohol use in particular, is one behavior that ADHD teens seem to be especially vulnerable to. Research has hinted to a link between ADHD and alcohol use during adolescence. But few studies have looked at this relationship while taking into consideration other factors such as parental awareness.
Brooke S. G. Molina of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh sought to extend the existing research by examining the effects of vigilant parenting on alcohol use among teens with ADHD. She recently conducted a study that looked at how parental awareness affected the patterns of alcohol consumption in two groups of teens, one between the ages of 11 and 14 years old and the other ranging in age from 15 to 17. The goal was to determine if early parental vigilance would affect drinking behavior in later teen years for adolescents with a history of ADHD.
Molina found that when parents were aware of what their children were doing, where they were going, and who their friends were, the teens were less likely to misuse alcohol. In fact, the lowest rates of alcohol use disorder were among those teens whose parents were aware of their activities. This was true regardless of the severity of ADHD symptoms for the teens. “Thus, vigilant parenting of teens with ADHD may thwart the socialization influences that typically surround teen drinking,” said Molina. These findings offer opportunities for interventions aimed at children with ADHD and their parents and underscore the importance of active and positive parenting practices.
Molina, B. S. G., Pelham, W. E., Jr., Cheong, J., Marshal, M. P., Gnagy, E. M., Curran, P. J. (2012). Childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and growth in adolescent alcohol use: The roles of functional impairments, ADHD symptom persistence, and parental knowledge. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0028260
© Copyright 2012 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.