Maternal ADHD Symptoms and Physical Child Abuse Risk: A Multi-Informant Study

Academic Article


  • Parents with ADHD may be at increased risk to engage in physical child abuse and, in turn, influence the developing child abuse risk of their children. The present study investigated the connection between maternal ADHD symptoms and their emerging adult child’s physical abuse risk, considering potential paths via maternal child abuse risk, maternal parenting style, and the child’s ADHD symptoms. The sample included 794 emerging adults and 146 of their mothers. Emerging adults and their mothers both reported on the ADHD symptoms of the mother, the ADHD symptoms of the emerging adult child, and the mothers’ parenting style. Each also independently reported on their own physical child abuse risk. Models indicate maternal ADHD predicted emerging adult children’s abuse risk directly and indirectly through the children’s ADHD symptoms but only weakly through parenting style and not through mothers’ child abuse risk. Child abuse risk appears related to ADHD symptoms in both generations, representing an area to address clinically to reduce the intergenerational patterns of child abuse risk.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 20183575
  • Author List

  • Rodriguez CM; Gonzalez S; Foiles AR
  • Start Page

  • 4015
  • End Page

  • 4024
  • Volume

  • 27
  • Issue

  • 12