Although children with ADHD continue to experience impairment well into adolescence, research exploring the experiences of their parents during late adolescence is lacking. Thus, we examined changes in parenting stress and family conflict in mothers of adolescents with ADHD during the transition to early adulthood. We also explored predictors of these changes in addition to investigating differences in these trajectories due to comorbid ODD. Forty-nine mothers of adolescents with ADHD only and thirty-seven mothers of adolescents with ADHD/ODD reported on parenting stress and perceptions of family conflict at baseline (mean age = 16.88) and at 3-month, 9-month, and 15-month follow up assessments. Growth curve modeling indicated that both groups of mothers reported relative declines in parenting stress and family conflict across time. However, the mothers of adolescents with ADHD/ODD persistently reported more stress and conflict. Furthermore, decreases in family conflict were more predictive of reduced parenting stress in families of adolescents only diagnosed with ADHD. Our findings suggest that comorbid ODD is associated with parenting stress during late adolescence. Thus, interventions should focus on further reducing this stress as adolescents with ADHD/ODD transition to adulthood.
- Family conflict
- Parent-child relationships
- Parenting stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies