Treatment for single-mothers of children diagnosed with ADHD: A comparison between a traditional and an enhanced behavioral parenting program
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Behavioral parent training (BPT) is an evidence-based treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Not all families, however, derive equal benefits from BPT. In particular, single-mother households are more likely to drop out of treatment early, fail to show improvement following treatment, and fail to maintain treatment gains. There are a number of factors related to poor progress and outcomes for single mother families who participate in BPT, including high levels of depression, stress, maladaptive cognitions, and practical barriers to participation as well as low levels of social support. The present study randomly assigned single-mothers of children with ADHD to a wait-list control group, a traditional BPT program, or an enhanced BPT program that addressed the putative factors that impact single-mother families during and after participation in BPT. Results indicated both parent training approaches were effective in reducing problematic child behavior, some areas of psychosocial impairment, parenting behavior, and some areas of parental adjustment relative to the wait-list control group. The enhanced BPT program also provided significant benefits in these areas relative to the traditional BPT group. Moreover, the enhanced BPT program resulted in increased single-mother and child attendance and completion, homework compliance, and satisfaction with the program. Moreover, the data suggested that BPT resulted in maintenance of gains at 3-month follow-up. Despite these findings, results also indicated that BPT does not normalize functioning for most children. These results are discussed in light of the current literature on effective treatments for single-mothers of children with ADHD. Future directions for empirical investigation for high-risk families are discussed.