Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the Family, and Child Maltreatment

Miriam H. Mulsow, Keri K. O'neal, Velma Mcbride Murry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common in children (3% to 7% of the population) and adults (1% to 5%). When one member of a family has ADHD, it will usually be present in other members. Thus, many adults with ADHD are parents of ADHD children. ADHD in families is associated with increased stress, fewer resources, limited coping methods, and more negative perceptions. ADHD has been shown to contribute to substance abuse, depression, impulsivity, isolation, unemployment, low educational attainment, unintended pregnancy, and relationship disruption. Each of these factors has been linked to child maltreatment. Although the presence of ADHD in families is only one risk factor and does not by itself mean that a family will experience violence, it is a risk factor for which screening measures are available. In addition, most people with ADHD are responsive to treatment, and parent-training methods specifically tailored to parents of ADHD children are widely available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-50
Number of pages15
JournalTrauma, Violence, & Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001


  • ADHD
  • child maltreatment
  • comorbidity
  • family stress
  • parenting


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