Author

Yvette Rother

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kate Flory

Abstract

Children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be particularly vulnerable to lower life satisfaction and self-esteem, given negative perceptions about their abilities and self, as well as related impairments in academic, social, and interpersonal functioning. Family factors, such as family structure and parenting behaviors, can impact youth development and behaviors. However, it is unclear what role family factors play in the relation between ADHD symptoms and life satisfaction and self-esteem among youth. This study therefore examined whether ADHD symptoms have an impact on the life satisfaction and self-esteem of children and adolescents in grades 4-12. Moreover, it explored whether family structure (i.e., single vs. dual parents in the household) and parent-reported parenting practices (i.e., involvement, positive parenting, poor monitoring/supervision, inconsistent discipline, corporal punishment) moderated the relation between ADHD symptoms and life satisfaction and self-esteem. In addition, one exploratory aim focused on whether moderation effects differ by reporter (i.e., parent- vs. child-reported parenting practices). Participants (N = 378; Mage = 12.52) were children and adolescents with and without ADHD in South Carolina who participated in the Replication of the Project to Learn about Youth-Mental Health (Re-PLAY-MH) study. Measures were administered to both parents and youth to evaluate ADHD symptoms, family structure, parenting practices, as well as life satisfaction and self-esteem. Linear regressions showed that ADHD symptoms were significantly associated with life satisfaction and self-esteem, such that higher ADHD symptoms were related to lower life satisfaction and self-esteem. Multiple regression analyses showed that family structure and parent-reported parenting practices did not moderate the relation between ADHD symptoms and life satisfaction and self-esteem. However, child-reported negative parenting practices moderated the relation between ADHD symptoms and life satisfaction and self-esteem, such that regardless of the severity of ADHD symptoms, lower life satisfaction and self-esteem are still a concern when it comes to high levels of negative parenting practices, whereas with moderate or low levels of negative parenting practices, ADHD symptoms play a significant role. The results from the current study will contribute to the existing ADHD literature and may help inform case conceptualizations and interventions that incorporate subjective well-being and parenting elements

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