ADHD Symptoms, Inhibitory Control and Parenting among Mothers of Children with and without ADHD

Authors: Iris Shilo and Anat Zaidman-Zait

Parenting is one of the complex tasks of adulthood which requires cognitive, emotional, and behavioral endeavor. Belsky’s process model identifies three domains of determinants of parental functioning: parents’ personal psychological resources, contextual sources of stress and support, and child’s characteristics.

Recently there has been an increased research on parental cognitive and affective functioning as determinants of parenting behaviors. Parental ADHD symptoms are related to a broad range of parenting difficulties. In the context of high hereditary of ADHD, it is probable that among parents with elevated symptoms of ADHD, parenting challenges stem from the presence of ADHD symptoms in their children.

Inhibitory control is critical to parents’ controlled response to their child’s misbehaviors, to hold back from intervening or hovering, and suppress interference in order to maintain child focus. Inhibitory control is one of the ADHD-related core deficits. Hence, it might be an important capacity in linking parental ADHD and parenting impairments.

In addition, the difficulties in inhibitory control that might make it difficult for parents to remain calm and consistent in their approaches to child behavior, would be even more pronounce in the context of parenting a child with ADHD.