ADHD in the Family: Strained Parent-Teen Relationships

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Research shows that teens with ADHD report having more parent-teen conflict that teens who do not have ADHD. ADHD expert, Russell Barkley, PhD, observes the strain between a parent and their teen with ADHD. He calls the following pattern “the vicious cycle”:

1. Parents, facing their own problems, see a child’s behavior get worse
2. Parents respond with more punishment and less encouragement
3. This hurts the child’s self-esteem and causes more behavioral problems
4. These problems lead to more fights with the parents
5. This reinforces the parents’ view
…The cycle restarts

The result of these problems are exhausting for everyone involved. While there is not a single solution that works for every family, there are several steps parents can take to alleviate some tension in the home. Next week on the Vantage Point blog we will further discuss the effect that ADHD can have within the family unit.