Treating parents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: The effects of behavioral parent training and acute medication treatment on parent-child interactions
Babinski, Dara E.
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This multiple baseline study evaluated the efficacy of behavioral parent training (BPT) for 12 parents and their children (ages 6-12) with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and also explored the acute effect of stimulant medication before and after receipt of BPT. Parents provided ratings of their own and their children's functioning and were stabilized on an optimal dose of medication. Then, parents discontinued medication and were randomly assigned to a three, four, or five week baseline, during which they provided twice-weekly ratings of their impairment, parenting, and their child's behavior off of medication. Following baseline, parents and their children completed two laboratory tasks, once on their optimally dosed medication and once on a placebo to assess observable effects of medication on parent-child behavior, and they also completed additional assessments of family functioning. Parents then completed eight BPT sessions, during which they were not medicated. Twice-weekly ratings of parent and child behavior were collected during BPT and additional ratings were collected upon completion of BPT. Two more parent-child tasks were conducted upon BPT completion to assess the observable effects of BPT and BPT plus medication. Ten (83.33%) parents completed the trial. Improvements in parent and child behavior were observed, and parents reported improved child behavior with BPT. Few benefits of BPT emerged through parent reports of parent functioning, with the exception of improvements in inconsistent discipline, and no medication or interaction effects emerged. These results, although preliminary, suggest that some parents with ADHD benefit from BPT. While pharmacological treatment is the most common intervention for adults with ADHD, further examination and development of psychosocial treatments for adults are needed.
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