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A program that focuses on strengthening parenting skills also improves symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 3-8 year-olds, according to new research.
“Prior research already has shown that this program improves behavior difficulties in young children,” says Desiree W. Murray, associate director of research at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “This review provides new evidence specifically about its effectiveness for ADHD symptoms.”
Murray explains that parents not only reported sustained improvements for their children’s ADHD behaviors, but also for their social skills and interactions with peers.
She says effective early intervention is crucial for young children with ADHD, due to the unfavorable short-term and long-term outcomes associated with the disorder.
“ADHD in preschoolers can bring conflict with family members, and it carries elevated risk of physical injuries and suspension or expulsion from child care settings,” Murray says. “Negative trajectories over time can include the development of other psychiatric disorders and difficulties with social adjustment.”
Previous studies have also shown that children with ADHD struggle academically, with lower test scores and higher risk of dropping out of high school.