Curbing ADHD Risks: How Parenting Styles Can Make a Difference

"A new study shows that parents of exuberant children can potentially reduce their child's risk of developing ADHD by using more directive and engaged parenting behaviors."

  • Early intervention with directive and engaged parenting can potentially mitigate ADHD development in children with an exuberant temperament.
  • Exuberant children, while energetic and curious, often struggle with self-regulation and executive functions.
  • The study suggests that less directive parenting combined with low executive function can lead to increasing ADHD symptoms throughout childhood.

A recent study from the University of Waterloo suggests that parents of young, highly energetic children (“exuberant” kids) can potentially influence their child’s risk of developing Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The study highlights the interconnectedness of temperament, parenting, and brain development in shaping ADHD symptoms.

Researchers followed 291 children from infancy to adolescence, observing their temperament, parent-child interactions, and executive function development. They found that children with an exuberant temperament who also had low to normal executive function skills were more likely to experience increasing ADHD symptoms when their parents engaged in less directive and engaged parenting.

The study emphasizes the importance of early intervention and suggests that directive parenting, which involves guiding children with verbal and physical cues, can foster self-regulation skills and potentially lessen the severity of ADHD symptoms. This research offers valuable insights for parents, caregivers, and healthcare professionals in supporting children with an exuberant temperament and reducing their potential risk of ADHD.