Previous research has suggested that Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a highly heritable disorder. However, recent evidence suggests that there may be complex gene and environment (GxE) interactions contributing to the onset of ADHD. A large number of studies have found that various social-environmental factors may influence the onset of ADHD. Specifically, parental factors such as parental harshness, parental responsiveness, and parental learning stimulation have been implicated in previous ADHD research. The analytical models of previous studies on parents’ and children’s behavior have been unable to control for genetic factors, leading to an inability to infer causal links between variables. The present study used a sibling comparison model to control for genetic and environment confounds while examining the relationship between parenting behaviors and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Problems (ADHP). The project investigated various parenting factors and children’s behaviors using a sample from The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 (NLSY79). Parenting behaviors from the NLSY79 were evaluated through a short form HOME Inventory, while child behavior was evaluated through Behavior Problems Index (BPI) filled out by the mother. An association between learning stimulation and ADHP was found even after controlling for measured and unmeasured family background characteristics and previous ADHP. These results make it harder to rule out a causal link between parental learning stimulation and ADHP. Results from this study suggest the need for additional research on parenting and ADHD to examine how parenting might affect children’s risk for these problems.
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Leibold, John P., "A Sibling Comparison Study of the Effects of Parenting Behaviors on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" (2020). Honors Theses. 299.
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