Parent Training Interventions for ADHD in Children

Parent Training Interventions for ADHD in Children
Hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive behaviours which commonly characterise
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) many times lead to impairment of the
relationship between parents and their child (Chronis, Jones & Raggi, 2006). This leads to
higher stress levels among parents whose child or children have the condition. With time,
parents may adopt counterproductive and maladaptive parenting strategies that may worsen
the behaviour of their children. A comprehensive treatment of ADHD according to evidence-
based practice involves working directly with parents to change their parenting behaviours to
raise chances of positive outcomes with their children (Chronis, Jones & Raggi, 2006).
Behaviour parent training thus emerges as an effective means of changing parenting and,
therefore, treating ADHD.
With a long history as a treatment for conduct disorder, opposition defiant disorder,
ADHD and other internalising disorders, parent training interventions provide parents with
knowledge on how to implement behaviour modification techniques founded on principles of
social learning as noted by Chronis, Jones and Raggi (2006). Parents get training on how to
identify and influence the antecedents and consequences of their child’s behaviour. They are
also taught how to target and monitor problematic behaviours, reward positive behaviour, and
lower unwanted behaviour through non-physical discipline techniques such as time out,
privileges withdrawal, limit setting, and planned ignoring among others (Chronis, Jones &
Raggi, 2006; Sonuga-Barke, Thompson, Abikoff at al. 2006; Danforth 2006).
Different studies have mixed results regarding the effectiveness of parent training
interventions for children with ADHD. Several studies reviewed by different scholars reveal
such interventions lead to improvements for ADHD children in several important areas as
well as domains such as parental stress (Chronis, Jones & Raggi, 2006; Sonuga-Barke,
Thompson, Abikoff at al. 2006; Chacko, Wymbs, Wymbs at al. 2009). Four studies reviewed
by Zwi, Jones, Thorgaard et al. (2011) revealed mixed results from the interventions; two
showing they had no effect of ADHD children and two showing they were effective.
Chacko, A., Wymbs, B., Wymbs, F., Pelham, W., Swanger-Gagne, M., Girio, E., Pirvics, L.
Herbst, L., Guzzo, J., Phillips, C. & O’Connor B. (2009). Enhancing Traditional
Behavioral Parent Training for Single Mothers of Children with ADHD. Journal of
Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 38(2):206218.
Chronis A., Jones, H. & Raggi, V. (2006). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for
children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Clinical
Psychology Review, 26 (2006):486 502.
Danforth J. (2006). Parent Training for Fa milies of Children with Comorbid ADHD and
ODD. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 2(1):45-65
Sonuga-Barke, E., Thompson, M., Abikoff, H., Klein, R. & Brotman, L. (2006).
Nonpharmacological interventions for preschoolers with ADHD:The Case for
Specialized Parent Training. Infants & Young Children, 19(2):14215.
Zwi, M, Jones, H, Thorgaard, C, York, A. & Dennis, J. (2011). Parent training interventions
for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children aged 5 to 18 years.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD003018. DOI:

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