UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The way parents interact with their kids may affect how well children with certain behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — ADHD — perform in school, according to researchers.
The researchers studied the associations between the parenting practices of mothers and fathers of children with behavioral problems like ADHD and how those children performed in school.
They found an association between mothers that parent negatively — using yelling or spanking, for example, as punishment — and a range of problems in the classroom.
“We found that how mom rated her parenting strategies was associated with several different school performance domains,” said Dr. Dara Babinski, assistant professor, Penn State College of Medicine. “There were associations between moms using more negative effective control behaviors and children with lower academic achievement, greater behavioral problems in the classroom, and more difficulties in peer and teacher relationships.”
Babinski said the results could help improve intervention efforts for families with children with behavioral problems, which in addition to ADHD could include oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder.
The researchers said children with these disorders are prone to problems both at home and in the classroom. They are at a higher risk of having trouble with school achievement, maintaining good grades and dropping out. At home, parents of these children are more likely to engage in harsh and inconsistent discipline and poor monitoring.
“There’s decades of research linking negative parenting with raising a child with behavior problems. In general, the child’s difficulties increase the likelihood of negative parenting. The child’s aggressive and disruptive behavior is stressful…