Impact of ADHD on Household Chores

Impact of ADHD on Household Chores

Spaulding SL, Fruitman K, Rapoport E, Soled D, Adesman A


J Atten Disord. 2020 Feb 18:1087054720903359.

doi: 10.1177/1087054720903359.

Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: Clinicians need to be able to distinguish ‘can’t’ from ‘won’t’ when parents complain that their children are failing to manage chores.



Objectives: To assess the relationship between ADHD and performance of household chores.

Method: A 72-question online questionnaire was developed to collect demographic/clinical information as well as parents’ assessment of their child’s performance of self-care (SC) and family-care (FC) chores.

Results: The sample consists of 797 primary caregivers of children with ADHD. The overwhelming majority of parents believed that ADHD to some extent affected their child’s ability to independently and satisfactorily complete SC and FC chores. An inverse relationship was noted between parent ratings of a child’s ability to do chores independently and satisfactorily and the likelihood they believed ADHD affected chore performance. There was no difference in chore performance between children with or without co-morbid oppositional defiant disorder.

 Conclusion: Given that household routines, including chores, play an important role in children’s development and psychosocial adjustment, clinicians must be sensitive to the adverse impact that ADHD may have in this regard.


 * 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.



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