Associations between Family and Community Protective Factors and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Outcomes among US Children
Duh-Leong C, Fuller A, Brown NM.
J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2019 Aug 27.
Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: Assessment and documentation of child strengths, caregiver strengths and other protective factors such as school accommodations, community supports should be part of every evaluation and treatment plan. When this information is also shared with the patient it further strengthens resilience and attention to what is working well.
BACKGROUND: Evidence has established the association between risk factors and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) severity, but less is known about factors that may have protective effects on clinical, academic, and social outcomes among children with ADHD.
OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between family cohesion, caregiver social support, community support, and (1) ADHD severity, (2) school engagement, and (3) difficulty making or keeping friends.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study of school-aged and adolescent children with ADHD using data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health. Our outcomes were (1) parent-rated ADHD severity, (2) school engagement, and (3) difficulty making or keeping friends. Our independent variables were (1) family cohesion, (2) caregiver social support, and (3) community support. We used logistic regression models to examine associations between our independent variables and each of our outcome variables, adjusting for child and parent sociodemographic characteristics.
RESULTS: In our sample (N = 4,122, weighted N = 4,734,322), children exposed to family cohesion and community support had lower odds of moderate to severe ADHD [adjusted OR (aOR): 0.73 (0.55-0.97); aOR: 0.73 (0.56-0.95), respectively], higher odds of school engagement [aOR: 1.72, (1.25-2.37); aOR: 1.38, (1.04-1.84), respectively], and lower odds of difficulty making or keeping friends [aOR: 0.64, (0.48-0.85); aOR: 0.52, (0.40-0.67), respectively].
CONCLUSION: Among children with ADHD, family cohesion and community support show protective effects in clinical, academic, and social outcomes. Systematically identifying family- and community-level strengths may be important components of multimodal treatment strategies in children with ADHD.
* Abstracts are selected for their clinical relevance by Dr. Margaret Weiss, Director of Clinical Research, Child Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard University. Her commentary reflects her own opinion. It is not approved or necessarily representative of the CADDRA board.