Parental Acceptance, Parental Stress, and Quality of Life: A study with parents of ADHD children
Adapting to a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) represents a great challenge for any family, and especially for the parents. Considering the psychological and behavioral issues inherent to this disorder, it’s no easy task to promote the child’s development, in a supportive way, while at the same time ensuring that it is well adjusted to all social contexts. More difficult yet is to achieve this while maintaining high quality of interpersonal relations and psychological health in the family. In this context, our research’s objectives were to assess and analyze possible connections between the perception of parental acceptance and rejection, parental stress and quality of family life, in families with children with ADHD. To achieve our goals we applied the Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire (PARQ, Rohner, 2005), the Quality of Life Scale (QOL, Barnes & Olson, 1982), and the Parental Stress Scale (PSS, Mixão, Leal & Maroco, 2007) to a sample of 57 Portuguese parents, both fathers and mothers, of, at least, one child diagnosed with ADHD. Our results show that parents of children with ADHD perceive themselves as accepting of their children, and the majority present low levels of parental stress. Also, we found that the more stressed parents feel about parenting, the less accepting they perceive themselves to be, as well as having lower levels of quality of life. These results leave interesting pointers for future research and
intervention, suggesting the importance of helping parents of ADHD children to deal with stress as it seems to have an important role on key dimensions of family functioning and consequently on children’s socio-emotional adjustment and development.