Divorce is more common in families with ADHD

A recent study at the University of Buffalo found that couples with a child with ADHD are twice as likely to get divorced than couples without a child with this disorder. Dr. William E. Pelham Jr., professor of psychology and pediatrics, states a possible reason, “We’ve known that ADHD kids can be very stressful for their parents. What this [new study] shows is that stress occurs in the marriage as well as in other aspects of the parents’ lives.”

Dealing with a child with ADHD can cause constant arguments between parents possibly because they don’t know how to handle the issues. “If they don’t get together on how to solve the problem, the child’s behavior is not going to improve,” Dr. Pelham says. “The situation gets worse, and if those arguments don’t get resolved, not only does the child’s parenting not improve but the marriage worsens — and almost a quarter of the families get divorced.”

Parents really need to develop techniques for managing the child’s behavior that they both agree on. Most often parents need help from a mental health care professional to counsel both the child and the parents. They can help them to develop healthy new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other. If parents can work together, they can give the love and support that their child needs without sacrificing their marriage.

For more information on how to cope with ADHD, click on the link. Or feel free to contact my office to set up an appointment.

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